Monday, 21 December 2009

Security Operatives Arrest Editor

The State Security Services (SSS), at 10 a.m. today picked up Ahmed Shekarau, the editor of Peoples Daily, a newspaper based in Abuja.

An email from Abdullzeez Abdullahi, a colleague of Mr. Shekarau, stated that the three officers of the SSS who came to pick up Mr. Shekarau “said that the SSS DG wanted to have a chat with him (Mr. Shekarau).” The men gave no further details.

Mr. Abdullahi wrote that; “our belief however is that the invitation may be over the story of the succession battle for the VP’s slot in the event that Goodluck Jonathan becomes president. The story was published last Friday.”

He said; “The Public Relations Officer of the SSS, Maryln Ogah said she would get back to us with some information but still hasn’t done so and is not picking calls to her phone.”


Friday, 4 December 2009

Security service detains French journalist

The Social and Economic Rights Action Center, (SERAC), has reported the detention of a French television reporter, Frederic Tonolli, by the Nigerian State Security Service (SSS) in Lagos for taking footage in a private housing community in the Amuwo Odofin area of the city.

SERAC is a non-governmental organisation that works for the promotion of social and economic rights of which housing rights are a major aspect.

Victoria Ohaeri, the Programme Coordinator for the center in a telephone interview said that Mr. Tonolli, a reporter for the French television network, Channel Five, was arrested Wednesday, December 2 by the security service.

She said Mr. Tonolli was “vigorously interrogated and detained by the SSS for several hours at their Shangisha office in Lagos and eventually released later in the night with an order to report back the following day at noon.”

Mr. Tonolli was again detained when he reported Thursday December 3, 2009, according to Ms. Ohaeri, who said the French journalist is expected to leave the country on a scheduled flight tonight but have been told that he may not make that flight because operatives have yet to conclude their investigations.

Mr. Tonolli has requested consular assistance, but was denied the opportunity to make contact with the French Embassy in Lagos, according to Ms. Ohaeri who also claimed that the SSS has not furnished any legal basis for interfering with Mr. Tonolli’s liberty.

Ms. Ohaeri said her organisation is currently in dialogue with the SSS to seek the release of Mr. Tonolli.