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Police kidnap IJF journalist Daniel Ojukwu ‘on orders of IGP’

Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), has been kidnapped by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police and is currently detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID). , Panti in Lagos. .

Ojukwu disappeared on Wednesday, May 1, his phone numbers were disconnected and his whereabouts were unknown to his colleagues, family and friends.

On Thursday, the IJF initially filed a missing person report at police stations in the area where Ojukwu was heading. However, on Friday, a private detective hired by the IJF traced the last active location of his phones to an address in Isheri Olofin, an IJF location. He now believes it was where the police originally detained him.

READ ALSO: ‘Fisayo Soyombo released after 10 hours at Force Headquarters

Ojukwu’s family would later learn of his detention in Panti, where they were made to understand that authorities are accusing him of violating the Cybercrime Act 2015.

READ ALSO: Force HQ detains ‘Fisayo Soyombo over story exposing high-level police corruption

A visiting relative told FIJ that the authorities refused to provide contact details of the investigating police officer (IPO) on jurisdictional grounds as the case was beyond Lagos.

“The officers who arrested him are part of the IG Monitoring Team. They said that when they finished arresting the other people on their watch list in Lagos, they would transfer him and others to Abuja.”

It is now the third day since the police have held Ojukwu incommunicado, denying him access to legal representation.

POLICE KIDNAPPING ON WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

Ironically, the knowledge of Ojukwu’s kidnapping came on World Press Freedom Day, the day set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness about the importance of press freedom and remind governments of their duty to respect and defend the right to freedom. of expression enshrined in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

On this same day last year, World Press Freedom Day 2023, men of the Police at Area F in Lagos arrested Daniel for telling them to stop hitting a driver.

CONTINUOUS PERSECUTION AGAINST FIJ BY THE POLICE

Police have not formally said a word about why Ojukwu was kidnapped. However, when the Nigerian Police Force National Cyber ​​Crime Center (NPF-NCCC) Grilled Bukky ShonibarePresident of the IJF Board of Directors, in his Abuja office in March, mentioned the IJF story of how Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the then Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs) to the President, paid 147.1 million naira to an account traced to Enseno Global Ventures (Enseno GV), an Abuja-based restaurant, for (guess what) the construction of a classroom!

A few days later, Ademuyiwa Adejobi, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), told ‘Politics Today’, a Channels TV program hosted by Seun Okinbaloye, that there were “two or three compelling allegations” against the IJF and its founder ‘Fisayo Soyombo’. .

When asked by Okinbaloye whether the police had declared that Soyombo was wanted or not, Adejobi said: “I asked the PC for clarification. He told me no, but they are definitely going to invite him because there are serious accusations about certain publications that his platform made. And of course, an invitation to the police at this level is simply to come and clarify certain things. Nothing else.”

On behalf of the IJF, Shonibare approached the police cybercrime center to request an official invitation for anyone from the IJF they needed to see, with the promise that they would be honoured, but to date no one at the IJF has been invited. formally by the police.