11 February 2013

Nigeria: Three Journalists Briefly Detained in Nigeria

press release

Four men in plainclothes claiming to be police officers briefly detained three journalists inside an office of a college in Aka Offot, a suburb of Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, on February 6, 2013, according to local journalists and news reports. The journalists were reporting on allegations of mismanagement at the federal government-run Science and Technical College, news reports said.

Patrick Odey, a reporter for the Daily Trust, told CPJ that he and two other reporters, Aniefiok Macauley of the Daily Independent and Aniefiok Udonquak of BusinessDay, had made an appointment with the principal of the college to discuss the allegations. Odey said that when they arrived, the principal told them she was calling her superiors to get clearance to discuss the allegations. Instead, the agents arrived and detained them in the office for two hours.

Joseph Effiong, chairman of the local chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, told CPJ that the reporters were released only after members of the union intervened.

Etim Dickson, a local police spokesman, said the journalists had not been arrested and were "simply doing their duty," according to news reports.

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