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Release FIJ journalist Daniel Ojukwu, Spaces for Change urges police authorities

``As a democratic country, a Gestapo arrest of this nature is completely out of line with our national laws and international human rights instruments, which Nigeria has voluntarily ratified... the constitution provides for a detained person to be charged to court within 24 hours (or 48 hours, depending on the location) of his arrest’’

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Spaces for Change (S4C) has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation of Investigative Journalism (FIJ), who was arrested on May 1, 2024, and has been unlawfully detained at the State Criminal and Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos State.

The news of his incommunicado detention without informing his family, friends, or colleagues, which clearly violates his fundamental human rights, is even more unsettling, according to a statement from S4C that Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the Executive Director, signed and emailed to Persecondnews.

The statement is titled, “A Threat To One Right Is A Threat To All Rights’—A C Call For The Release Of Unlawfully Detained Journalist, Daniel Ojukwu.’’

Recent updates indicate his relocation to the Threat Response Unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja.

“This arrest, coming barely 48 hours after the celebration of World Press Freedom Day, constitutes an attack on the civic space, a deterioration of press freedom, and a threat to freedom of expression guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.

“As a democratic country, a Gestapo arrest of this nature is completely out of line with our national laws and international human rights instruments, which Nigeria has voluntarily ratified.

“In light of the above, we wish to state that the constitution provides for a detained person to be charged to court within 24 hours (or 48 hours depending on the location) of his arrest.

“The arrest and detention of Daniel Ojukwu have completely elapsed the time frame provided by the constitution.

“We, therefore, demand his immediate and unconditional release and the assurance by the Nigerian Police Force to desist from the arrest and harassment of journalists in Nigeria.’’

S4C also stated: “We reiterate that a threat to one right is a threat to all rights, as no right exists in isolation from the other rights. Accordingly, free speech and press freedom must be obeyed without exception.’’

 

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