Police Release Nigerian Journalist Held For Weeks In Custody (Photo)

January 26, 2018 7:48 pm

Timothy Elombah, the editor of Elombah.com, who was arrested January 1 by the Nigerian police, has been released after three weeks in custody.

According to Premium Times, Mr. Timothy was arrested alongside his brother, Daniel, who was earlier released.

In a statement Friday, the online publication said it appreciated all those who offered support during their ordeal with the police.

The platform “thanked friends and family, the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN), Lawyers, Journalists, local and international Non governmental organisations, NGOs , National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), the British government, and numerous individuals for their steadfastness and unwavering support during the unlawful detention of Tim Elombah, the editor of Elombah. Com.”

The brothers were arrested in an early morning raid on their country home in Nnewi, Anambra State, by the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.

They were moved to Abuja a few hours after their arrest on January 1.

A third person who was arrested with them was also taken with them to Abuja and they were all detained at the SARS facility in the country’s capital city.

They were arraigned before a magistrate’s court in Abuja two days later and an administrative bail was granted to Daniel Elombah.

His brother, Timothy, however, remained in custody for several weeks after.

The brothers were accused by the police of publishing an opinion piece critical of Inspector-General Ibrahim Idris, an “ignominious” development the advocates said was a direct affront on journalism and press freedom.

The Elombahs denied publishing the article on their website.

They said the police saw the piece on another website and assumed that they were responsible for it without any evidence.

In their Thursday statement, the Elombahs said Tim Elombah was released following an order of a judge at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“Freedom of speech and expression is an inalienable right of every person and Nigerians should stand firm against any flagrant abuse of these fundamental rights without excuses,” the statement said.

Media rights advocates and others concerned have condemned the arrest as repressive and uncivilised.

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