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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

DSS Operatives Lay Siege To Nigerian Journalist's Home

Operatives of the Department of State Services have laid siege to the home of a Nigerian journalist.
DSS attacks journalist
File photo: DSS

According to SaharaReporters, a Nigerian journalist has raised the alarm that operatives of Nigeria's secret police, the Department of State Services, have laid siege to his home in Delta State.

It is not clear why the journalist's home is under the siege of the DSS operatives

The journalist, Prince Amour Udemude, a journalist based in Asaba, an area in the Niger Delta told SaharaReporters: "As I speak with you my residence is besieged by DSS officials in Delta State.

"I don't know why they're here.

"But I learnt they had called for reinforcement.

"I'm holed up in my apartment. I don't know what's really happening."

A Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, who was in police detention for over a week for a report about an alleged diversion of N500 million by the Cross River governor, charged with treason in September.

Jalingo, who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, a Cross River State-based newspaper, was arrested and detained over a petition by the government’s owned microfinance bank following the report in his newspaper.

Jalingo’s newspaper has relentlessly criticized Ben Ayade, the state governor.

The journalist who was arrested in Lagos and driven by road to Calabar, the capital city of the Cross River State, had sued the police over his arrest and detention, which he said were illegal and a breach of his fundamental human rights.

He is asking a court to order the police to pay him N150 million as damages for the manner he was allegedly maltreated.

On August 5, 2019, Nigerian police arrested and detained at least four journalists covering protests that took place across Nigeria in connection with the hashtag #RevolutionNow, according to journalists who spoke with CPJ and media reports.

In the morning of August 5, police in Calabar, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Cross River state, detained Jeremiah Achibong, a reporter with the privately owned CrossRiverWatch news website, and Nickolas Kalu, a journalist with the privately-owned The Nation newspaper, according to the journalists, who spoke with CPJ.

Officers in the anti-cult and anti-kidnapping police force arrested the pair while the journalists were seeking information about the arrest of Ugbal Jonathan, a CrossRiverWatch reporter who participated in the #RevolutionNow protests and was detained by police earlier that day, Achibong and Kalu said.

Also on August 5, police officers beat and arrested Victor Ogungbenro, a video journalist with SaharaReporters, while he was covering a protest in Lagos state, according to Ogungbenro, who spoke with CPJ via phone, and a video of the attack and arrest circulated on WhatsApp, which CPJ reviewed.

Ogungbenro told CPJ he repeatedly identified himself as a journalist, but police slapped, kicked, and dragged him, and sprayed tear gas into his face. Police arrested him and held him until August 6, when he was released without charge after presenting a surety for his bail, he said.

Police also arrested SaharaReporters journalist, Tosin Ajuwon, on August 5 while he was covering a protest in Nigeria’s southwestern Ondo State, according to a Premium Times report from the day and Ajuwon, who spoke via phone with CPJ.

Ajuwon said he was filming the protest when police forcefully pulled him into a van and drove him to a police station, where they detained him for several hours before releasing him without charge.

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