Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to show a greater level of transparency by withdrawing the new accreditation guidelines and allowing journalists to freely cover the activities of the National Assembly.
The NASS leadership had, on Monday, issued a memo to the Senate Press Corps highlighting accreditation guidelines for journalists from covering the National Assembly.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, in a statement, said: “Nigerians expect the leadership of the National Assembly to show a greater level of transparency and accountability and to explain and take responsibility for what they are doing rather than implicitly banning journalists from covering their public functions. Implementing the ‘accreditation guidelines’ would allow the lawmakers to escape accountability for their constitutional functions.”
However, the organisation said it would “pursue national and international legal action if the unlawful guidelines are not withdrawn by Friday.”
SERAP noted that the accreditation guidelines clearly run counter to constitutional provisions and Nigeria’s international human rights obligations and the notion of a free marketplace of ideas, necessary to serve the best interests of the public.