Army General Detains Journalist, Labels Him Boko Haram Informant

Nigeria-army-headquarters

By Samuel Malik

An unidentified army general with the Department of Military Intelligence has been accused of detaining a journalist as well as threatening to frame him up as a Boko Haram informant.

The journalist, Jide Abdulazeez,  a staff of the Abuja-based Aso FM, told Leadership newspaper that he was arrested for daring to stand up to the general, who he said was driving against traffic on June 1, 2015.

“While I was driving along the Kubwa-Gwarinpa Expressway, there was traffic hold-up, which made some motorists drive against oncoming vehicles on the lane. As a special marshal, I put on my special marshal jacket, got out of my vehicle and went to restore normalcy.

“Suddenly, I saw a convoy of army vehicles on this same lane which I had managed to clear and took my iPad to take photos, just to have evidence if any accident occurred. Suddenly, the convoy stopped and a soldier hopped out. He took the iPad away forcefully, got back into the vehicle and drove off,” Abdulazeez said.

The journalist said he followed the convoy to the Directorate of Military Intelligence office, where he identified himself and said he was encouraged by President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that no one should drive against traffic.

“Captains Ogunbunmi and Sanni made me write a statement. Thereafter, I was blindfolded and taken to an unknown destination, where I spent the night. I answered every question they asked and even informed them that I was a journalist, but they kept me. They deleted the pictures I took and even threatened that I would be sent to Maiduguri and labelled a Boko Haram informant”, he narrated.




    The next day, Abdulazeez, said, he was taken to Department of State Services, DSS, where he wrote a lengthy statement and detained till 3:45pm when he was released on bail. His phones and other gadgets are still held by the general and he said his private and public life has been affected.

    Abdulazeez is seeking justice and has written a letter to the President’s chief of staff, the director-general of the DSS, the country representative of Amnesty International, the executive secretary of the National Human Rights Commission and some individuals.

    “I was accused of being a member of the Boko Haram; that was not only absurd, it is also capable of damaging my image and reputation as an on-air personality which I have built for years,” he stated.

    When contacted, defence spokesperson, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, declined comment while DSS spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, did not answer her phone or reply a text message sent to her.

     

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