Abducted Journalist: HURIWA Warn Against Police Impunity

Abducted Journalist: HURIWA Warn Against Police Impunity

The Civil Right Advocacy group known as Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the current government for allowing the Inspector General of Police to behave as if he is above the laws of the land just as the Rights group has once again, demanded the immediate release of the detained journalist with Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Daniel Ojukwu.

“HURIWA is shocked that President Tinubu who is democratically elected is running a government in which the holder of the appointment of the office of Inspector General of Police, has clearly become overtly lawless and has even ordered the prolonged detention of a journalist Daniel Ojukwu who was apparently kidnapped by armed police many days back and dumped in the derelict detention centre of the police”.

“The head of the police in Nigeria is an officer of the law and is not above the law. The story that the police even barred lawyers from accessing the detained journalist shows a government that the president has lost the control of officers he singlehandedly appointed based on some mundane considerations and not seriously based on competencies or merit otherwise if the IGP was chosen on those qualifications, he ought to respect the law and not violate the constitutional rights of the detained journalist with such offensive and insane impunity. A lawyer, Ridwan Oke, disclosed the information of denial of lawyer’s access to the detainee by the police on X.com, on Saturday.”

HURIWA recall that Ojukwu was said to have gone missing on Wednesday and was unreachable as his numbers were switched off and his whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family and friends.

Twenty-four hours after he went missing, FIJ filed a missing persons’ report at police stations in the area where Ojukwu was headed.

Luckily, a private detective hired by FIJ eventually managed to trace the last active location of Ojukwu’s phones to an address in Isheri Olofin.

Oke, who tweets as @Ridwanullahii disclosed that Ojukwu was still in the custody of the SCID and was not allowed access to his lawyers, family or friends.

He revealed that police officers were given express instructions not to allow him access to anyone at all.

“Daniel was not allowed to call his lawyers, friends or relatives to notify them of his arrest.

“The officers gave express instructions not to allow him to reach out to anyone. He was kept incommunicado,” he said.

He disclosed that the police claimed to possess a remand and search warrant for Ojukwu, but have failed to show it to him, neither has the police briefed him on the details of his arrest.

“Police claim they have remand and search warrants but have never shown them to him. Daniel, up till this moment hasn’t been officially shown the petition against him nor has the police communicated who the complainant is to him.

“The unit involved is said to be the ‘NPF National Cybercrime Centre (NCC) from Abuja’ which means the offence being alleged is a bailable offence but he has not been offered bail and they haven’t presented him in court as enshrined in our laws. The officers here in Panti said they couldn’t help as it was not their case. No one is taking responsibility,” the lawyer said.

He added that efforts to reach the Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, proved abortive as he did not pick up calls made to his number, nor did he return the calls.

“Now, I have tried to reach @Princemoye1 but he’s not picking nor returning. No one has so far offered any meaningful explanation and a citizen is being detained unnecessarily for a bailable offence.

“You have to free Daniel now. He has certain health conditions which need medical attention. If anything happens to him, the Nigerian Police Force @PoliceNG should be held accountable”, Oke concluded.

Recently, reported that gunmen later identified to be operatives of Defence Intelligence Agency abducted the editor of FirstNews newspaper, Segun Olatunji, from his home in Lagos State.

HURIWA through a media statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko is advocating the immediate and unconditional release of journalist Daniel Ojukwu.

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