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Sowore, Others, To Protest NPF’s Unlawful Detention of FIJ Reporter Daniel Ojukwu

protest Ojukwu Police

Concerned Nigerians have called for a peaceful protest against the continued detention of a reporter with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Daniel Ojukwu, by the Nigerian Police Force.

According to the details on the flyer circulating social media, the protest, hash-tagged Free Daniel Ojukwu, Journalism Not A Cybercrime, and Protect Civic Space, is scheduled to commence at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the Police Headquarters, Louis Edet House in Abuja.

Activists, journalists, and other Nigerians, including Omoyele Sowore, former presidential candidate and publisher of Sahara Reporters, also shared the flyer on X, calling on people to join the protest.

West Africa Weekly had reported that Ojukwu went missing on Wednesday, May 1, with his numbers switched off and whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family, and friends, as revealed by FIJ.

Subsequent investigations revealed that Ojukwu was forcefully abducted by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti, in Lagos, on allegations of violating cybercrime laws.

Contrary to these allegations, FIJ reported that Ojukwu was arrested due to his report, which revealed how former presidential aide Orelope-Adefulire suspiciously transferred ₦147.1 million to a restaurant to construct classrooms and a skill acquisition centre.

On May 5, Human Rights lawyer Ridwan Oke confirmed Ojukwu’s transfer from SCID to the Threat Response Unit of the NPF National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja.

In what may be seen as a sign of blatant disregard for press freedom under President Bola Tinubu, whose administration has harassed and obstructed journalists from carrying out their duty, the Nigerian Police Force has remained unyielding in releasing Ojukwu, despite calls for his release from journalists, civil society organisations, Amnesty International, and well-meaning Nigerians. Hence, the call for a peaceful protest.

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