Police Succumb to Pressure, Release FIJ Reporter After Protests

The FIJ announced this on its website that Ojukwu was released on Friday after being held captive by the police for 10 days.
Deji Adeyanju and Sowore protesting
Deji Adeyanju and Sowore protesting Punch

Following demonstrations by various Civil Society Organisations in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism who was abducted by the Inspector General of Police's Intelligence Response Team, has been released.

The FIJ announced this on its website that Ojukwu was released on Friday after being held captive by the police for 10 days.

Ojukwu was reported missing on Wednesday, May 1, with his phone switched off and his whereabouts unclear to coworkers, family, and friends. 24 hours after Ojukwu went missing, FIJ filed a missing person complaint at police stations in the region where he was heading.

Furthermore, the last known location of the journalist's phones was traced by a hired investigator for FIJ to an address in Isheri Olofin, which FIJ now believes is where the police first picked him up.

After learning of Ojukwu's arrest in Panti, his family was informed that the authorities were accusing him of breaking the 2015 Cybercrime Act. He was moved to the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja on Sunday morning by the Inspector General of Police's Intelligence Response Team.

Strict bail conditions were imposed by the police on FIJ's attorneys and negotiators, who included Omoyele Sowore, editor of SaharaReporters, Jide Oyekunle, head of the Nigeria Union of Journalists' FCT Correspondent's Chapel, and Bukky Shonibare, Chairman of the organization's Board of Trustees.

To demand Ojukwu's release, a group of journalists and civil society organisations, including Deji Adeyanju, a lawyer, and Sowore, a pro-democracy activist stormed the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

The protesters were seen carrying banners with the inscriptions, ‘Free Daniel Ojukwu,’ ‘No to a police state,’ Journalism is not a crime,’ and ‘Stop the impunity.’

However, as civil society organisations marched to the Force Headquarters on Thursday to demand his release, the police began to soften their stance, and he was eventually released on Friday.

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