FIJ Vows Legal Action to Challenge its Reporter’s Abduction

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Ms Bukky Shonibare, FIJ’s Board of Trustees Chairman

The Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), a Nigerian independent, not-for-profit organization that seeks to hold public officials accountable through investigative reporting, has said that it plans  to pursue legal avenues to ensure justice for Mr. Daniel Ojukwu, one of its reporters who was recently arrested and detained for 10 days, to prevent similar abuses of power.

Mr. Ojukwu was abducted by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Inspector General of Police in Lagos, and subsequently transferred to the Nigerian Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) in Abuja. He was detained by authorities for 10 days before his release on May 10, 2024.

In a statement issued by FIJ Board of Trustees Chairman, Ms Bukky Shonibare, the organization announced that it will explore all legally permissible means to seek justice for the reporter and prevent a recurrence of such blatant abuse of power and attack on press freedom.

The statement also acknowledged the impact of media pressure and public outcry of local and international media outlets, civil society groups, activists, lawyers, and citizens in ensuring Ojukwu’s release.

While thanking local and international media organisations, civil society organisations, activists, lawyers, and active citizens whose efforts helped secure the freedom of Mr. Ojukwu from detention, the statement noted the significant effect of the media pressure and, more importantly, protests by civic actors in modifying what had been a deliberate misuse of state power by the police.

Ms Shonibare said the FIJ was taking advice from its lawyers and will explore all legally permissible means to seek justice for Mr. Ojukwu and prevent a recurrence of such blatant abuse of power and attack on press freedom.