Nigerian military frees detained Aljazeera journalists

The Nigerian military has ordered the release of two Aljazeera journalists who have been detained in Maiduguri, Borno for over a week after being accused of “loitering” around areas of military operations.

Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustapha were released in the early hours of Saturday after spending ten days in detention in their hotel room.

The defence headquarters spokesperson, Chris Olukolade had in a statement said the duo were moving around “restricted areas” in Yobe and Borno states without protection, accreditation or clearance.

The two Journalists also sued the Nigerian Army challenging their detention, which has been condemned by Nigerian and international civic groups.

The were represented by lawyer and human rights activists, Femi Falana, who sought a declaration that the arrest and detention by the military was 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.

He also sought an order directing the Nigerian military and the army chief, Kenneth Minimah, to release the journalists from illegal military custody immediately.

It is not clear if their decision to approach the court was responsible for their release.

Efforts to speak with a representative of Aljazeera network were unsuccessful as our calls were neither answered, nor returned at the time of publishing this story.

Also, efforts to speak to one of the released Journalist, Ahmed Idris, was unsuccessful. He also did not respond to our text message. PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the two journalists are travelling to Abuja from Maiduguri.


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  • Frank Bassey

    Nigerian Army should have left the two overzealous Journalists killed by Boko Haram. They were loitering in operation area without clearance and protection to expose themselves to the attack of the insurgents so as to bring Nigerian government into disrepute. It was the same excesses of Al Jazera Journalists that put them into trouble in Egypt.

    • Mee Man

    • Mee Man

      Nigerian Army should find the Chibok girls, and without international expose by Aljazeera, BBC and CNN, the army will not be so keen to face Boko Haram. NTA? Forget it.

  • Mee Man

    Cover up? Let the truth be told. Al Jazeera brougth the attention of the Chibok girls to the world stage, well before even our local media.

  • sammyctu ode

    Who is the Nigerian military to detain journalists or anybody for that matter? Are they the President of Njgeria? If any local or international journalists have committed offenses, its for them to report the issue to the president via the NSA who will decide. The pepper soup fat slobs useless top brass of the military should face their core jobs instead of attracting negative issues that are inconsistent with their terms of reference. Anyway they will soon be out of a job after May 29th.

    • Don Diallo Delavegas

      I think it’s just more inter-agency coordination that is needed.

      Inter-cooperation shouldn’t only be through the service chefs and the triple sisters (SSS, NIA & DIA) but also down to the other necessary bodies, not forgetting protocol.

      By the way, the military can legally detain anyone who breeches it’s security for your information..

  • Assibi

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    “On what basis is Rotimi Amaechi going around the streets of Nigeria with armed soldiers in his convoy? How is this even imaginable? How is this even allowable?” —Adesanmi, P.

    On the basis of an attempt to islamise Rivers. Amaechi is their sabo.