June 17, 2024
A Threat to One Is a Threat to All Rights’ – A Call for Release of Unlawfully Detained Journalist, Daniel Ojukwo
– By Ayomide Oginni

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‘A Threat to One Is a Threat to All Rights’ – A Call for Release of Unlawfully Detained Journalist, Daniel Ojukwo

 

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 1st, 2024, and has been unlawfully detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos State.

In a statement obtained by The Daily, www.thedaily-ng.com, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, Executive Director, Spaces for Change, stated: “More unsettling is the news that he has been held incommunicado without informing his family, friends, or colleagues, depicting a clear violation of his fundamental human rights. Recent update suggests that he has been moved to the Threat Response Unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja.

“This arrest, coming barely twenty-four 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. We reiterate that the 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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