Home NEWS IPI Nigeria Wants Immediate Release Of FirstNews Editor, Segun Olatunji, From Military...

IPI Nigeria Wants Immediate Release Of FirstNews Editor, Segun Olatunji, From Military Detention

The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) has asked for immediate release of the Editor of FirstNews, Segun Olatunji, who was abducted from his home in Lagos twelve days ago by some military officers.
In a statement today, March 27, jointly signed by President, IPI Nigeria, Musikilu Mojeed and Legal Adviser/Chair, Advocacy Committee, Tobi Soniyi, IPI stressed that the time to act in this matter is now.
The International Press Institute said that its finding revealed that Olatunji is in the 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 Musa.
The IPI recalled that armed men in two unmarked vans arrived at Olatunji’s home in Lagos on March 15 and that the men, two of whom wore military-style uniforms, introduced themselves as officers of the Nigerian Army and forced Olatunji to go with them.
The statement said that Olatunji’s captors refused to tell his wife, who witnessed the arrest, where he was being taken to.
IPI said that for the past eleven days, the embattled journalist has been kept incommunicado, with his family, employers, and colleagues unaware of his whereabouts.
“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.
“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.
The rule of law demands that an accused person is allowed to defend himself in a court of law within a reasonable time. This also conforms with the provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, which forbids the detention of any citizen or resident beyond 48 hours, except with a valid court order.”
The IPI, which called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene by directing the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, to release the journalist, reminded the authorities that Nigeria had continued to rank low in the comity of nations in the area of upholding human rights.
IPI said that the action of the military 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.

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