Police Release Journalist, Ojukwu

Chelsea

Daniel Ojukwu, the detained journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ)  regained freedom yesterday afternoon after spending nine days in detention.

FIJ Founder, Fisayo Soyombo, confirmed his release to PREMIUM TIMES yesterday.

In a statement also confirming Mr Ojukwu’s release, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees of FIJ, Bukky Shonibare, said the platform was taking advice from lawyers “and would explore all legally permissible means to seek justice for Daniel Ojukwu.

The statement said Ojukwu was abducted by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector-General of Police on Wednesday, 1 May 2024.

The journalist’s detention triggered criticisms of the worsening press freedom in less than a year of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

“Saddening and primitive as they are, moments like this are a refreshing reminder of the potency of a united public to hold power to account,” it added.

The platform hoped its planned legal actions would “prevent a recurrence of such blatant abuse of power and attack on press freedom.”

It acknowledged “the significant effect of the media pressure and, more importantly, Thursday’s protests by civic actors in modifying what had been a deliberate misuse of state power by the police.”

The statement thanked “local and international media organisations, civil society organisations, activists, lawyers, and active citizens whose efforts have helped secure the freedom of our reporter, Daniel Ojukwu.”

Ojukwu went missing last Wednesday, 1 May, with his phones switched off and whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family and friends. The following day, FIJ made a missing person report at police stations in the area where he was headed.

Mr Ojukwu’s family and employer would later find out that he was “abducted” by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police, and held incommunicado at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti in Lagos.

 

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