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Journalist regains freedom after abduction by men in military uniform


Journalist regains freedom after abduction by men in military uniform

The Editor of FirstNews Online Newspaper, Segun Olatunji, has been freed 12 days after he was abducted by men in military uniform.

The abductors, dressed in military uniform, had invaded Olatunji’s residence at Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos State, on March 15, and took him away.

While the journalist’s family did not receive any communication from his abductors, the management of the media platform linked the incident to a story published by FirstNews.

Concerns about his location continued until the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) said its checks showed the editor was in custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), an agency under the command of Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye, who, in turn, reports to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Chris Musa.

Hours after the IPI made this disclosure, the Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, told some editors that the military had confirmed that the editor was in their custody.

Meanwhile, in a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday signed by IPI President, Musikilu Mojeed, and Tobi Soniyi, its secretary, the institute called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to activate the powers of his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to direct the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to produce Olatunji.

The statement read, “IPI Nigeria has received inquiries about this matter from all over the world. The Institute has also contacted the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Army, the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Defence Headquarters, and the Ministry of Information and National Orientation seeking information on Mr Olatunji and demanding his release. All efforts in this direction have so far failed.

“That has triggered speculations among journalists and human rights activists around the world that the Nigerian military may be keeping some vital information away from the public concerning the journalist’s safety.

“IPI is therefore calling on President Tinubu to direct the Nigerian military authorities to immediately release Mr Olatunji or charge him to court if he has committed any offence. The international community should also pay attention to the unjust detention of Mr. Olatunji by the Nigerian military.”

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