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Journalists Arrested In Edo Still In Detention


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10 journalists working for the Watchdog News, who were arrested by a combined team of the Nigerian Army and the Department of State Services, DSS, in Benin, the Edo State capital last Wednesday, September 21, are yet to be released.

Editor of the media house, Taiye Garrick, said they were also denied access to their lawyers.

The news crew, comprising of a Production Manager, three reporters, a Video Editor, three IT personnel, a Logistics Manager and a Driver, were arrested at a hotel in Benin on.

Garrick told newsmen that the team was in Benin to report on the situation of things and the level of INEC’s preparedness ahead of the gubernatorial election scheduled for September 28.

They were arrested by soldiers and DSS operative at their hotel, Douban Hotel in Benin.

The Army issued a statement the following day through its spokesman, Sani Usman, alleging that the journalists were arrested based on “credible security reports” and that “quite a number of incriminating items including INEC sensitive materials” were found on them.

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However neither of the security outfits could explained why the journalists were still in detention.

The editor of the media house, alleged that he has been receiving threat calls and invitation from anonymous persons asking him to report at the SSS office in Abuja or elsewhere.

When contacted, the army spokesman refused to comment on the issue.

Only last Monday, a blogger, Jamil Mabai, was arrested and detained for a post in which he criticised the Katsina State government’s expenses.

A number of journalists have also been reported arrested in recent times for opinions that criticizes the government of the day in what activists say is a ploy to suppress the freedom of the press.

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