Journalist Detained On ‘Orders From Above’ Moved To Abuja

Daniel Ojukwu

The Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, has reportedly moved Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, to the National Cybercrime Centre, in Abuja.

This was disclosed to our correspondent via a telephone conversation on Sunday by the organisation’s founder, ‘Fisayo Soyombo.

Ojukwu went missing on Wednesday, May 1, with his phone numbers turned off, leaving his whereabouts unknown to colleagues, family and friends.

Despite initial efforts by the FIJ to file a missing person report at police stations in the area where Ojukwu was last seen, his location remained undisclosed.

In its efforts to unravel the whereabouts of its employee, the foundation secured the service of a detective who traced the last active location of Ojukwu’s phones to an address in Isheri Olofin, which is believed to be where the police picked him up.

Subsequently, Ojukwu’s family learnt of his detention at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti, Lagos State, where he was reportedly accused of violating the 2015 Cybercrime Act.

Speaking, Soyombo stated that he wouldn’t label Ojukwu’s ordeal as an arrest by the police, but an “abduction.”

He said, “We keep doing everything we can do behind the scenes,” adding that the abduction is “annoying.”

When asked if the location of the “abducted” journalist has been known, Soyombo acknowledged that the IRT had moved Ojukwu to the National Cybercrime Centre in Abuja on Sunday (today).

Ojukwu, who was allowed to speak to his employer for the first time since his detention told the FIJ on Sunday, “I’m currently in Abuja; I am at the NPF-NCCC – that’s the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre.

“I arrived this morning, and I was taken into a cell. All I know is that I’m in Abuja. This is the first time I’ve been given my phone since Wednesday. They (NPF-NCC agents) said that they were going to ask me questions. So, I’m waiting.”

Ojukwu’s “abduction” came at a time Nigerian journalists, on Thursday, joined their counterparts across the globe to mark the World Press Freedom Day.

FIJ noted that on this same day last year, World Press Freedom Day 2023, men of the Area F Police in Lagos arrested Ojukwu for telling them to stop punching a driver.

According to the FIJ, when the NPF-NCC grilled the chairman of FIJ’s Board of Trustees, Bukky Shonibare, at their Abuja office in March, they had mentioned FIJ’s story on how Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the then Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs) to the President, paid N147.1 million to an account traced to Enseno Global Ventures (Enseno GV), an Abuja-based restaurant, for — guess what — the construction of a classroom!

Seven days later, the Force Police Public Relations Officer, Ademuyiwa Adejobi, told ‘Politics Today,’ a Channels TV programme anchored by Seun Okinbaloye, that there were “two or three weighty allegations” against FIJ and its founder ‘Fisayo Soyombo.

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