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Sowore decries ‘unjust’ detention of journalist, calls out police command

Pro-democracy activist Omoyele Sowore condemns the continued detention of journalist Daniel Ojukwu and criticizes the Nigerian Police for their handling of the situation.

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Omoyele Sowore, the pro-democracy activist and former presidential candidate, has raised his voice against what he describes as the “unjust” incarceration of Daniel Ojukwu, a reporter with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism. Ojukwu’s detention, despite meeting bail conditions, has sparked outcry and highlighted concerns about police conduct and the state of media freedom in Nigeria.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, Sowore expressed frustration with the Nigerian Police’s refusal to release Ojukwu and lamented what he sees as a breakdown in the command structure of the police force. He criticized the influence wielded by junior officers with connections, suggesting they have more power than their superiors.

Furthermore, Sowore accused the police of resisting reform efforts, particularly in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS movement, which sought to address police brutality and misconduct. He argued that despite public pressure for change, authorities are regressing and prioritizing loyalty to the political elite over the rights of citizens.

Sowore’s comments underscore broader concerns about the state of press freedom and the rule of law in Nigeria. He accused the police of attempting to control media narratives and suggested that senior officers, including the Inspector General of Police, were hindering Ojukwu’s release.

The journalist’s detention stems from a petition filed against him, allegedly related to the Foundation for Investigative Journalism’s coverage of financial mismanagement in the government. Despite efforts by activists and media stakeholders to secure Ojukwu’s release, including visits to the detention facility, bureaucratic hurdles and external pressures have prolonged his incarceration.

The case has drawn widespread condemnation and renewed calls for press freedom and respect for human rights in Nigeria. Sowore, alongside other activists and journalists, continues to advocate for Ojukwu’s release and push for accountability within the Nigerian Police.

As the situation unfolds, it serves as a stark reminder of the challenges facing journalists and activists in Nigeria, where freedom of expression remains under threat, and the rule of law is often undermined by political interests and institutional constraints.

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