International Press Institute urges President Tinubu to secure release of abducted editor Segun Olatunji

The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute, IPI Nigeria,  is urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to utilize his authority as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to instruct the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Christopher Musa, to ensure the safe return of Segun Olatunji, the Editor of FirstNews, who was abducted from his residence in Lagos twelve days ago.

Multiple checks by the International Press Institute reveal that Mr 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.

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.

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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.

It’s essential for the military to provide immediate clarification regarding the arrest of Mr. Olatunji. Transparency is crucial, and they should disclose the reasons for his arrest, his current whereabouts, and why formal charges, if any, have not been filed against him. This information is necessary to ensure accountability and uphold the rule of law.

IPI Nigeria is reminding the Nigerian authorities that when it comes to upholding human rights, Nigeria continues to rank low in the comity of nations. Keeping a citizen beyond the period allowed by the Constitution will only worsen Nigeria’s standing in the International community.

 

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