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News - North Central - FCT Updated: May 08, 2024

Sowore gives reasons police can't release detained FIJ journalist, Daniel Ojukwu

By TIMOTHY TIMILEHIN ENIETAN-MATTHEWS
May 08, 2024
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Human rights activist and former presidential candidate of the Africa Action Congress, AAC, Omoyele Sowore, has given reasons why a Nigerian journalist, Daniel Ojukwu, a reporter with Foundation for Investigative Journalism, FIJ, is still being detained despite a competent court granting him bail.

Ojukwu was arrested on May 1 in connection with an investigative report of alleged financial mismanagement in the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.

FIJ had reported how a sum of N147.1m reportedly meant for the building of classrooms and a skill acquisition centre was allegedly sent to bank account of a restaurant.

Following a petition by office of the SSA, Ojukwu was arrested on charges of cybercrime and despite outcry by Nigerians and human rights activists, all efforts to get him released have met the brick wall. 

However, according to Sowore, Ojukwu's prolonged detention has to do with an "order from above".

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In a post on his X account on Tuesday night, Sowore said he had "met Daniel Ojukwu in detention at the FCIID in Abuja and found out he was being detained by one of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s people.”

He went on to describe the efforts made by his team in trying to get the journalist out on bail which were all frustrated by the police.

"We've spent the last two days in Abuja to get Daniel Ojukwu of @fijnigeria bailed out from unjust incarceration, meeting police officers in their offices," Sowore said. 

"A few things are clear, there is a breakdown in the @PoliceNG command structure; we met junior officers who are more potent and powerful than their bosses based on their connections; also, we noted that the @policeng is not interested in reforms #Endsars scarred them but they're are rolling back the gains more fiercely than ever, even when they're clearly breaking the laws of the land, they'd rather die for crumbs from the corrupt political class than honour the rights of Nigerians. 

"Finally, they hate serious journalism with passion and are hell-bent on creating a media landscape that dances to their whims and caprices. 

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"After two days of being tossed around, senior officers told us the IGP and his boys wouldn't let us release this boy, Daniel, that was after a surety we provided had met their bail conditions. #RevolutionNow."

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