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10.05.2024 Featured BREAKING: FIJ’s Daniel Ojukwu Regains Freedom From Police Captivity After Protests

Published 10th May, 2024

By FIJ

Daniel Ojukwu, the FIJ reporter who was abducted by men of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector-General of Police, has regained freedom after 10 days in police captivity.

Ojukwu went missing on Wednesday May 1, his numbers switched off and his whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family and friends.

READ MORE: Police Abduct FIJ Reporter Daniel Ojukwu ‘On IGP’s Orders’

The following day, FIJ made a missing person report at police stations in the area where Ojukwu was headed, However, on Friday May 3, a private detective hired by FIJ tracked the last active location of his phones to an address in Isheri Olofin, a location FIJ now believes was where the police originally picked him up.

Ojukwu’s family would subsequently get wind of his detention at Panti, where they were made to understand the authorities are accusing him of violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

READ MORE: Police Move Abducted FIJ Reporter Daniel Ojukwu to Abuja

Very early on Sunday, the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police relocated him to the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) in Abuja. Hours later, they moved him to the the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), where FIJ understands is “a better place than the cybercrime centre to break his resolve”.

Flier for media protest to release Daniel Ojukwu

The police gave FIJ’s lawyers and negotiators — led by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of SaharaReporters; Jide Oyekunle, chairman Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Correspondent’s Chapel; and Bukky Shonibare, chairman of FIJ’s Board of Trustees — stringent bail conditions. However, after civil society organisations marched to the Force Headquarters on Thursday to press for his release, the police started to soft-pedal, leading to his eventual release on Friday.

READ MORE: BREAKING: Police Move Abducted FIJ Reporter From Cybercrime Centre to Force CID

“Daniel Ojukwu’s case is one of the most egregious cases of human rights violation and misuse of the powers of the Police against journalists,” said Abimbola Ojenike, Managing Partner of Slingstone LP, FIJ’s attorneys.

READ MORE: PHOTOS: Journalists, Activists at #FreeDanielOjukwu Protest in Abuja

“This will not go unchallenged. There’s significant public interest in Daniel’s human rights enforcement action that goes beyond just this violation. The constitutional right to free speech is dead if journalists can no longer expose the malfeasance in government officials without fear or oppression.”

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Published 10th May, 2024

By FIJ

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