Local Intelligence Agency Arrest Editor for Facebook Post

Ibrahim Dan Halilu
Mr. Ibrahim Dan Halilu

At about 2am on August 5, 2019 operatives of Nigeria’s local intelligence agency, the Directorate of State Security (DSS) stormed the Rigachikun, Kaduna State residence of Mr. Ibrahim Dan Halilu, a former editor at the privately-owned Daily Trust newspaper and arrested him for ventilating his support of the ‘RevolutionNow’ campaign.

Ibrahim, on his Facebook timeline, posted his endorsement and support of the activities of #RevolutionNow.

The Facebook post reads: “I feel I should share because it resonates with me. If resonates with you too, please share until all oppressed people of Nigeria get the message and domesticate it. This is #Not the Nigeria of My Dream.

“Somebody asked me why we need a revolution now, this was my reply: The aim of the revolution is to challenge the uncommon hardship why we have 16m children on the street; challenge why we have become the poverty capital of the world; challenge why we have 20 persons with corrupt cases as federal legislators and would-be Ministers.

“We need to restructure the country. We need to put an end to trillions spent on electricity while we live in darkness and pay estimated bill for electricity and meters. Why do we have huge oil reserves but our refineries are dead and we are re-importing what we exported as crude oil? It is time to ask why those in government travel abroad for medical care when they have left our hospitals dilapidated; why they send their children to school abroad when our children learn under mango trees.

“We are revolting against the continuing killings that have left 20,000 Nigerians dead while those in office move around under state paid security and do nothing. We are revolting against the because over a thousand Nigerians soldiers killed by Boko Haram have been secretly buried without identifiable graves, dignity or honour. $16m was purportedly spent on mosquito nets but our children die daily from malaria. $320m Abacha loot was purportedly distributed to the poor. Where is the verifiable list? N500bn was purportedly distributed to the poor as so-called Trader-moni. Where is the verifiable list?

“…With divine grace, God gave us about 40 natural resources spread across the length and breadth of the country. No country on mother earth is as blessed! The persons destroying Nigeria in and out of government are less than 10,000. For how long will the 201 million of us be silent? Forever? It will be sheer stupidity and very unfair of us to be silent and bequeath today’s sorry Nigeria to our children. For how long shall we continue to endure bad leadership from certificate forgers, election riggers, ritualists and yahoo politicians, hoping upon hope for a better tomorrow when things get worse by the day? We are too rich to be poor. We are too blessed to be a mockery of the world!!! No!!!”

One week on, Ibrahim continued to be held captive without any charges being brought against him and he was not arraigned before any court of law.

He was asked to write a statement on his connection with the #RebolutionNow campaign group that called for street protests from August 5 which he did.

In his statement, he made it clear that he only shared a post from the group on his Facebook page. The DSS continued to detain him beyond the 48 hours allowed by the law without charging him for any offence.

Ibrahim’s arrest comes on the heels of the August 3 arrest of Mr. Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters and subsequent crackdown of Nigerians who took to the streets to protest what they considered bad governance and calling for revolution. Sowore was one of the masterminds behind the ‘#RevolutionNow’ protests.