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CSOs, Sowore Stage Protest At Nigeria Police Headquarters, Seeking Release Of Detained FIJ Reporter

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CSOs, Sowore Stage Protest At Nigeria Police Headquarters, Seeking Release Of Detained FIJ Reporter

A group of civil society organizations known as the Action Group for the Protection of Civic Actors and human rights activist Omoyele Sowore held a protest at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday. 

Naija News understands that the protest was aimed at demanding the release of journalist Daniel Ojukwu, who works for the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ). 

Recall that the Nigeria Police Force had reportedly arrested and detained Ojukwu on May 1, over an allegation bordering on “cybercrime”.

The group voiced concerns about press freedom and Nigeria’s declining civic space and pledged to stay in the building until the journalist is freed

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The coalition’s spokesperson, Bukky Shonibare, stated that public engagement and the free press are essential components of democracy.   

She cited the recent abduction and detention of Daniel Ojukwu as an example of disregard for democratic principles and the rule of law.

Shonibare said, “Civil society organisations across the country are deeply concerned about the growing cases of attacks on press freedom, and the flagrant abuse of due process and the rule of law by the Nigeria police under the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM.”

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Sowore alleges that under Egbetokun’s leadership, the Nigerian police persist in showing impunity and a flagrant disregard for democratic principles and the rule of law.

The former presidential candidate threatened to lead a mass demonstration across the country unless the police head ordered the journalist’s immediate release.  

He reminded the police that they have no right to charge any Nigerian, including journalists, with cyberstalking, citing the amendment of the Cybercrime Act 2015 by the National Assembly.

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