Rights organizations condemn Nigerian journalist’s arrest

Rights organizations have strongly condemned the arrest of a Nigerian journalist believed to have been detained following his coverage of alleged corruption implicating a former senior government figure.

Daniel Ojukwu, affiliated with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), has been unreachable since the beginning of May, as reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

CPJ’s statement reveals that Ojukwu’s associates and relatives discovered his detention in Lagos and subsequent transfer to Abuja on charges related to cybercrimes.

Angela Quintal, leading CPJ’s Africa program from New York, demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Daniel Ojukwu, urging Nigerian authorities to cease the intimidation and detention of journalists involved in uncovering corruption.

Despite attempts, media representatives from Lagos state police and the national force were unavailable for comment on the matter.

Amnesty International joined the chorus of voices advocating for Ojukwu’s release, stressing that targeting journalists for fulfilling their duties is a violation of their rights.

FIJ referenced a police complaint stating that Ojukwu’s arrest stemmed from his investigative piece on alleged misappropriation of public funds by a former special assistant in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranks Nigeria as one of the most perilous and challenging environments for journalists in West Africa, highlighting incidents of surveillance, physical assaults, and arbitrary detentions, particularly evident during the 2023 electoral period.

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