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Detained journalist regains freedom

A reporter with the Foundation of Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Daniel Ojukwu, who was detained by the Police has regained freedom. A police officer and a…

A reporter with the Foundation of Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Daniel Ojukwu, who was detained by the Police has regained freedom.

A police officer and a member of staff with Daniel’s organisation confirmed the development to Daily Trust on Friday.

Daily Trust had reported how Ojukwu was abducted on May 1 by the police officers on the “orders from the above”.

In efforts to know his whereabouts, 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, consequently, knew about his detention at Panti, where they were made to understand the authorities were accusing him of violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

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 said he would be released.

Abimbola Ojenike, Managing Partner of Slingstone LP, FIJ’s attorney, 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.

“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.”

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