The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) has asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to use his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to tell General Christopher Musa, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), to bring back Segun Olatunji, the editor of FirstNews. Olatunji was taken from his home in Lagos twelve days ago.

Tinubu
Tinubu

In a statement signed by the president of IPI Nigeria, Musikilu Mojeed, and legal advisor Tobi Soniyi, yesterday, the group said they found out that Mr. Olatunji is with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), which reports to Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye, who reports to the chief of defense staff.

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For almost two weeks now, no one has heard from the journalist who was taken away, and his family, bosses, and colleagues don’t know where he is.

The group said they’ve asked the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Army, Defence Intelligence Agency, Defence Headquarters, and Ministry of Information and National Orientation about Mr. Olatunji, but got no answers.

“That has made journalists and human rights activists around the world think that the Nigerian military might be hiding something important about the journalist’s safety,” the group said.

So, IPI Nigeria is asking President Tinubu to tell the Nigerian military to release Mr. Olatunji right away or take him to court if he did something wrong.

The group said the world should also pay attention to how Mr. Olatunji is being unfairly kept by the Nigerian military.

They said the law says that anyone accused of a crime should have a chance to defend themselves in court within a reasonable time. This is also what Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution says, which doesn’t allow keeping anyone in custody for more than 48 hours without a court order.

“According to what we know, some armed people came to Mr. Olatunji’s house in Lagos on March 15. Two of them wore military-style uniforms and said they were from the Nigerian Army. They took Mr. Olatunji away, and even though his wife saw everything, they didn’t say where they were taking him.

“The military needs to quickly say why Mr. Olatunji was taken, where he is, and why he hasn’t been taken to court.

“IPI Nigeria is reminding Nigerian authorities that Nigeria’s reputation for human rights is not good. Keeping someone longer than the Constitution says will only make Nigeria look worse in the world,” IPI Nigeria said.

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