Journalist Declared Wanted by Nigerian Army Arrested at Airport

Ahmed Salkida
Ahmed Salkida

On September 5, 2016, Ahmed Salkida, a Nigerian journalist based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates was arrested by operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport while disembarking from an Emirate Airlines plane with which he travelled.

On August 14, 2016, in a statement signed by Colonel Sani K. Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, the Nigerian Army declared the trio of Salkida, Mrs. Aisha Wakil and Mr. Ahmed Bolori wanted in connection with two videos released by the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram. Both Mrs. Wakil and Bolori reported to the authorities the day after they were declared wanted but were released on bail without being charged to court. Sakilda could not report to the Nigerian Army authorities being not in Nigeria.

The journalist who reportedly returned to Nigeria using an emergency travel certificate apparently did so to turn himself in to the security having been declared wanted.

Sakilda had promised to return to Nigeria as a result of his being declared wanted saying he ought to be commended for making sacrifice to free the over 200 Chibok school girls who were kidnapped in April 2014 rather than being labeled as an accomplice.

He denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the kidnapped girls but admitted receiving video clips from Boko Haram which he released to the public. He added that Boko Haram had confidence in his objectivity as an investigative journalist, having previously interviewed Mohammed Yusuf, the late founder and leader of the group.

He had reportedly expressed fears, in a conversation with a co-passenger, that he will be arrested when he gets to Nigeria and that he may not be given fair hearing. He also accused the Nigerian government of pronouncing him guilty without trial.