My abductors blindfolded me before moving me to abuja, handcuffed me three days inside cell, says Segun Olatunji

The abducted editor of Firstnews Segun Olatunji who was detained for almost two weeks by the military and subsequently released on Thursday after pressure mounted by the Nigeria media has disclosed that he was blindfolded before been taken to Abuja by the military officials.

Penpushing reports that Olatunji in an exclusive engagement with him shortly after his release added that he was handcuffed and leg chained for three days inside the cell, lamenting that his hands have been affected following numbness, as a result of negative effect of the handcuffs.

The journalist explained that his investigation revealed that his abductors have been monitoring him for weeks, which was unknown to him, adding that he was even trailed to conference organized by Senator Solomon Olamilekan held at Ayetoro town of Ogun State.

Penpushing further reports that he later uncovered that the security agents were monitoring his movement in consent with some people close to him, who provided them information about his itinerary within the period he was arrested.

The editor added that the security agents from his own investigations showed that they had lodged in a hotel close to his wife’s shop, and subsequently located his residence where he was picked up and blindfolded, thereafter taken to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)

Penpushing also reports that it is recalled that armed men in two unmarked vans arrived at Olatunji’s home in Lagos on March 15, 2024, while the men, two of whom wore military-style uniforms, introduced themselves as officers of the Nigerian Army and forced editor to go with them, and declined to tell his wife, who witnessed the abduction, where he was being taken.

The International Press Institute (IPI), Nigeria on Wednesday traced the abducted Editor to the custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), an agency under the command of Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye.

Penpushing reports that President of the Institute Musikilu Mojeed and Tobi Soniyi(legal adviser) made this known in a statement adding that multiple checks revealed that Olatunji has been kept incommunicado for over eleven days by the military.

The International Press Institute (IP) in the statement called on President Bola Tinubu to activate his powers of his office to direct the Chief of Defence Staff on need to release the detained journalist without further delay.

‘Multiple checks by the International Press Institute reveal that Mr Olatunji is in the custody of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), an agency under the command of Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye, who, in turn, reports to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Musa’, Mojeed wrote.

‘The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) is hereby calling on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to activate the powers of his office as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to direct the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Christopher Musa, to produce Segun Olatunji, the Editor of FirstNews, who was abducted from his home in Lagos twelve days ago’.

‘As a matter of urgency, the military should tell the world why Mr. Olatunji was arrested, where he is being kept, and why he has not been charged in court. IPI Nigeria is reminding the Nigerian authorities that when it comes to upholding human rights, Nigeria continues to rank low in the comity of nations. Keeping a citizen beyond the period allowed by the Constitution will only worsen Nigeria’s standing in the international community. The time to act is now’, the statement added.

Penpushing further report that the world body of journalists pointed out that for the past eleven days, the abducted editor has been kept incommunicado, with his family, employers, and colleagues unaware of his whereabouts.

‘IPI Nigeria has received inquiries about this matter from all over the world. The Institute has also contacted the Nigeria Police, the Nigerian Army, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Defence Headquarters, and the Ministry of Information and National Orientation seeking information on Mr Olatunji and demanding his release. All efforts in this direction have so far failed’, the statement reads.

‘That has triggered speculations among journalists and human rights activists around the world that the Nigerian military may be keeping some vital information away from the public concerning the journalist’s safety.

‘IPI is therefore calling on President Tinubu to direct the Nigerian military authorities to immediately release Mr Olatunji or charge him to court if he has committed any offence. The international community should also pay attention to the unjust detention of Mr. Olatunji by the Nigerian military’.

‘The rule of law demands that an accused person is allowed to defend himself in a court of law within a reasonable time. This also conforms with the provisions of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution, which forbids the detention of any citizen or resident beyond 48 hours, except with a valid court order’.

Penpushing also reports that hours after the Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute revealed that personnel of the Defence Intelligence Agency were responsible for the abduction of  Olatunji,  officials of the Nigerian military admitted they have the missing journalist in their custody.

The Minister of Information, Mohammed Idris, who spoke with officials of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Nigerian Guild of Editors and the International Press Institute on Wednesday night quoted top military officers as admitting their men seized the editor, after twelve days of denial.

Penpushing reports that the Minister said the Defence Intelligence Agency was  committed to releasing the journalist on Thursday, while the International Press institute (IPI(Nigeria had earlier on Wednesday called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the Chief of Defence Staff, Christopher Musa, an army general, to immediately produce the abducted journalist or charge him to court if he has committed any offence.

FOOTNOTE: You want to share story with us? You want to advertise with us? You need publicity for product, or service, or   event? Contact us on WhatsApp +2348073463653 or email [email protected]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button