‘Why we abducted FirstNews Editor, Segun Olatunji’


The Defence Intelligence Agency, DIA, has said it abducted and detained FirstNews Editor, Mr. Segun Olatunji, for about 14 days before releasing him to prevent a potential threat to nation security.

The military opened up on the matter for the first time at a meeting with major media organisations on April 14, 2024.

Recall that the key media organisations had given the Federal Government a 14-day ultimatum to carry out a speedy, public, transparent and independent investigation into the abduction and unlawful detention.

They also requested that the government should meet other demands made in respect of the detention of Olatunji.

The organisations described the actions of the military as barbaric and brazen disregard for the constitution and the government’s obligations under relevant domestic laws and international instruments.

They warned that they would pursue all available mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels to ensure compliance with the demands as contained in the statement issued in case the government failed to respond.

The media organisations are Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria, NPAN; Nigerian Press Organisations, NPO; Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria, BON; Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE; Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ; Guild of Corporate Online Publishers, GOCOP, and International Press Institute, Nigeria Chapter, IPI Nigeria.

In a statement issued by the media organizations after the meeting, the military authorities said they acted to forestall a potential threat to national security…”

The military authorities were quoted as saying that they would have reported the matter to the National Media Complaints Commission, NMCC, – The National Media Ombudsman – if they had been aware of its existence.

The media organizations said upon a review of the outcome of the April 14 meeting with the military, they decided to refer the matter to the Ombudsman for adjudication.

The statement reads further:

“After considering this disposition towards the Ombudsman, the NPO, BON and the Civil Society Partners have decided after reviewing the outcome of the April 14 meeting, to refer the matter to the Ombudsman for adjudication.

“The report of the Ombudsman process would be made public.

“We hope that the parties concerned will seize this  opportunity to settle the matter in the interest of law, order and respect for the provisions of Nigeria’s constitution.

“Besides, the specific issue of Olatunji, the group  condemns the increasing militarisation of the civic space, which has seen increasing use of excessive force by soldiers in matters that would have ordinarily be handled by the police.”

The statement is signed by Mal. Kabiru A. Yusuf for Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) / President, Nigerian Press Organisations (NPO); Dr. Yemisi Bamgbose, Executive Secretary, Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON); Eze Anaba, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE); Comrade Chris Isiguzo, National President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ); Maureen Chigbo, President, Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) and Musikilu Mojeed, President, International Press Institute, Nigeria Chapter (IPI Nigeria).

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