Journalist Arrested Over Possession of Laptop

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Pelumi Salako

On September 13, 2023, Mr. Pelumi Salako, a freelance journalist working with Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned international news television network based in Doha and operated by the Al Jazeera Media Network. was arrested by officers of the Nigeria Police Force, Kwara State Command,  in Ilorin, for being in possession of a laptop, for which he could not immediately produce the receipt at the point of his arrest.

Narrating his ordeal during a telephone conversation with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Salako explained that despite clarifying that the receipt was at his residence, the police officers labeled him a suspect for his inability to tender his laptop receipt immediately as demanded by the officers.

“I am at the police headquarters in Ilorin. I was stopped and searched, then they asked for my laptop receipt but I told them it was not on me. I have it, but it is at home. They said not having it on me makes me a suspect, but they did not tell me the crime,” he narrated.

In response to FIJ’s intervention and following discussions with the Kwara Police Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, Pelumi Salako was subsequently released from police custody.