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CSOs Take Protest To Police Headquarters, Demand Release Of FIJ Reporter



CSOs Take Protest To Police Headquarters, Demand Release Of FIJ Reporter

Some activists and civil society organisations (CSOs) on Thursday protested against the detention of Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), at the force headquarters in Abuja.

Ojukwu went missing on May 1 and could not be reached by family and friends for three days.

The activists held aloft placards with inscriptions like: ‘Free Daniel Ojukwu now’, ‘No to a police state’, while chanting solidarity songs and slogans.

Led by Bukky Shonibare, a lawyer; and Omoyele Sowore, a politician and publisher of Sahara Reporters; the protesters urged “the Nigerian police to stop unlawful arrests and respect press freedom”.

“Daniel Ojukwu is a journalist, not a criminal,” Shonibare said.

“On May 1, Daniel Ojukwu was unlawfully abducted by the Nigerian police. He was taken to Panti in Lagos.

“His parents did not know he had been taken, his phone was taken away from him, his family and friends did not know where he was for three days until somebody found out he was in Panti.

“We also condemn the incessant abuse of the remand order process which has been observed to be the new machinery with which the Nigerian police continuously violates the rights of the Nigerian people.”

The FIJ management said after tracking his devices, it was discovered that the detained journalist was apprehended by the intelligence response team (IRT) of the inspector-general of police (IGP) at the state criminal investigation department (SCID) in Lagos.

Fisayo Soyombo, FIJ founder, said Ojukwu was arrested over an investigative report published in November 2023, which the police claims violates the 2015 cybercrime act.

The police transferred Ojukwu from Lagos to the national cybercrime centre in Abuja on May 5.

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