Abducted reporter, Daniel Ojukwu regains freedom after protests

Abducted reporter, Daniel Ojukwu regains freedom after protests

A journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Daniel Ojukwu, who was abducted by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector Gene

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A journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Daniel Ojukwu, who was abducted by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police has regained freedom.

Ojukwu regained freedom on Friday after 10 days in police captivity.

FIJ disclosed this on Friday on its website.

Ojukwu was said to have gone missing on Wednesday and was unreachable as his numbers were switched off and his whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family and friends.

Twenty-four hours after he went missing, FIJ made a missing person report at police stations in the area where Ojukwu was headed.

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

However, 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 were accusing him of violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

Meanwhile, on Sunday morning, the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police relocated him to the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja.

The police gave FIJ’s lawyers and negotiators — led by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of SaharaReporters; Jide Oyekunle, chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists FCT Correspondent’s Chapel; and Bukky Shonibare, chairman of FIJ’s Board of Trustees — stringent bail conditions.

On Thursday, after a protest march by civil society organisations at the Force Headquarters for his release, the police started to soft-pedal, leading to his eventual release on Friday.

Abimbola Ojenike, Managing Partner of Slingstone LP, FIJ’s attorneys said, “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.”

He further said, “This will not go unchallenged. There’s a 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.”