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Direct Military To Produce Abducted Editor, IPI Tells Tinubu

The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to activate the powers of his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to direct the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, to produce Segun Olatunji, the Editor of FirstNews, who was abducted from his home in Lagos 12 days ago.

On March 15, gunmen invaded Olatunji’s residence at Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos, and whisked him away.

While the journalist’s family did not receive any communication from his abductors, the management of the media platform linked the incident to a recent story published by FirstNews.

However, IPI said its checks showed that the editor 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.

“For the past eleven days, the abducted 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.

“That 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.

“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,” read the statement signed by Musikilu Mojeed, President, IPI Nigeria, and Tobi Soniyi, Legal Adviser/Chair, Advocacy Committee.

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