Al-jazeera journalists sue Nigerian Army, army chief over illegal detention

Two journalists, Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustapha, working for foreign news channel, Al-Jazeera, have sued the Nigerian army and its chief, Kenneth Minimah, for trampling on their fundamental rights.

Messrs. Idris and Mustapha – reporter and cameraman respectively of the news television – were arrested on March 24 in their hotel room in Maiduguri, Borno State for “loitering” in areas were combat operations were still on-going.

A statement by the Defence Headquarters said the journalists were moving around “restricted areas” in Yobe and Borno States without protection, accreditation or clearance.

The journalists, represented by lawyer and human rights activists, Femi Falana, sought a declaration that the arrest and their continued detention by the military were illegal and unconstitutional, thereby violating their right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 34, 35 and 41 of the constitution and Article 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and peoples’ Right Act.

They also sought an order directing the Nigerian military and Mr. Minimah to release the journalists from illegal military custody immediately.

The reliefs were sought on the ground that the applicants were not soldiers and that the military had no right to arrest them.
The reliefs also argued that “loitering or wandering” were not offences known to law; and the applicants were entitled to their liberty, freedom of movement and integrity to human person as guaranteed by Section 34, 35 and 41 of the constitution.

Peter Nkanga of the Committee to Protect Journalists told PREMIUM TIMES the journalists went incommunicado since 10:10 p.m. on Wednesday. He said their phones were seized from them by the military.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, directed all enquiries on the matter to the Director of Defence Information, Chris Olukolade, a Major General.

Mr. Olukolade could not be reached for comments.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: Revealed!!! The Only Way Left of Getting an Extra Large Manhood and also Last Up to 38Mins+. Get the Insider Secret Here

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.

  • Layo

    There is something the military is trying to cover up. They usually tell our reporters what to write and what not to write, sometime they even seize their phones. Fact.

  • amazing2012

    Shameless fellow, portraying bad image on their country instead to fight criminals !

  • mcleomat

    I av said it severally that how cum there is no single video clip on the war on terror going on in the NE. I believe with the incoming govt may be we will know all that transpired in the NE war on terror.

  • favourtalk

    All of them must pay for the suffering they melted down on all military staff and common nigerians, and the disgrace they brought upon pir nation. Nigeria must be cleanse and we must attain that superior again

  • Halima

    nawa ooo…meanwhile…Good morning people, are you looking for a genuine investment opportunity that will upgrade your financial status? Invest And Enlarge (WEALTHZONE) is the right company, a company located in Kano where you invest and get a monthly interest according to the amount you invest and also get a referral bonus interest the more people you refer which is my aim of this advert,I live here in Abuja, I read about them sometime last year on facebook and i contacted them via email and that was how i became an investor with them, I just got my 4th interest payment so I am convinced of their activities, if you are interested you TEXT your EMAIL address to their customer care line 08021341784 and they will get back to you with details. please do not forget to tell them Mrs Halima Abubakar referred you, remain blessed.

    • Layo

      Abeg carry your 419 self out of here. Another wonder bank in the making.

  • bikky

    They promised to arrest Shekau live,up till now there is no any reliable information on bokoharam and it’s sponsored but they can quickly grabbed journalists that are seeking for reliable and authentic news. Nawa for our military.

  • Advert NG

    Buy Dangote Cement at a promotional price of 1100 naira per bag, Call
    the sales manager Shehu Abubakar on 08066785650 for booking and
    delivery.All customers can purchase a minimum of 100 bags/