NUJ demands ‘unconditional, ‘immediate’ release of ‘abducted’ editor

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The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for the immediate release of Segun Olatunji, the “abducted” editor of FirstNews.

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Olatunji was reportedly abducted from his home in Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos, by gunmen on Friday.

His wife, Abiodun Olatunji, said the armed men numbering ten, arrived at their residence a few minutes after 6 pm and whisked him away, without disclosing where the journalist was being taken to.

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Since the abduction, the journalist’s family has yet to receive any form of communication from his abductors.

The management of the media platform linked the incident to a recent story published by FirstNews.

On Monday, Olatunji’s family wrote an SOS letter to President Bola Tinubu, requesting him to “order the military to immediately release him”.

In a statement signed by Akorede Opeyemi, NUJ assistant national secretary, the press group described the incident as “another sad reminder of the danger being faced on a daily basis by journalists in the line of duty”.

NUJ said the abduction of the journalist is “clearly unacceptable” and an attempt to “intimidate journalists and force them into self-censorship”.

“Eye witness reports had it that Olatunji was taken away last Friday in his Lagos home in the presence of his family by ten fully armed men, two of whom were dressed in military uniform,” the statement reads.

“Although it is not clear which agency of government was responsible for the arrest of the journalist, we believe that freedom of the press and opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy.

“For this reason, it is important for the Nigerian government to work to protect freedom of the press and freedom of movement for media professionals. The safety and security of journalists are very important.

“Actions like this are clearly unacceptable and attempt to intimidate journalists and force them into self-censorship.

“The professional work by journalists is clearly in the public interest, and acts of impunity against them should not be condoned.”

 

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