Military Releases FirstNews Editor Segun Olatunji After 13 Days in Custody

Military Releases FirstNews Editor Segun Olatunji After 13 Days in Custody

Military authorities have released Segun Olatunji, editor of FirstNews, after 13 days in custody. Olatunji was freed on Thursday in Abuja and handed over to select journalists, with the condition that he remains available for future inquiries by the military.

Olatunji was arrested at his Abule-Egba home in Lagos State on March 15, and his family was unaware of his whereabouts or the reason for his detention. The arrest prompted calls for his release from journalist organizations and human rights agencies. Recently, the International Press Institute (IPI) confirmed that Olatunji was held by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

The IPI, along with the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), confirmed Olatunji’s release during a press briefing. They urged President Bola Tinubu to hold those responsible for the arrest accountable, accusing military authorities of misleading them about Olatunji’s detention.

“Although our colleague has now been released, we are calling on President Tinubu to ensure that these officers are punished for their bad behavior,” the organizations stated.

The unions linked Olatunji’s arrest to a story titled, “Revealed: Defence Chief

Running Office Like Family Business – Public Interest Lawyers.” They condemned the DIA’s actions as a direct attack on press freedom.

“One of the core missions of the free press is to serve as a watchdog on power,” said the unions in a joint statement signed by IPI president Musikilu Mojeed, NGE Secretary Iyobosa Uwugiaren, and NUJ president Chris Isiguzo. “The press, as we all know, is the connection between the people and the government. If the press is not allowed to carry out its social and constitutional responsibilities but instead is subjugated to power, it simply serves as an extension of power.”

As of the time of this report, the DIA has not commented on the matter.

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