How DIA Operatives Set Free Abducted Editor, Segun Olatunji In Abuja


He did not see his abduction in a commando style coming, as he was hoodwinked, whisked away and kept incommunicado for about two weeks in a military dungeon with blindfolds, hand and leg cuffs for some days.

If anything crossed his mind at all during the forceful abduction from his home and later incarceration was the fact that his fate hanged in the balance between life and death just as his where about was unknown for days that later turned into barely two weeks. It was quite frightening and totally unexpected in a democratic setting where the rule of law ought to reign supreme.

The experience of Mr. Segun Olatunji, Editor of First News Online Newspaper, was better imagine than expressed even when he was eventually released by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) to the General Secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), Mr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren and the Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, under a bridge in Asokoro district of Abuja.

The security personnel were hooded just as their vehicles number plates were covered thereby made it difficult to identify or marked.

What followed was the documents for his release which were presented for signing inside one of the security vehicles with heavily armed operatives on Thursday morning, March 28, 2024.

What was to follow was the enquiry by the NGE sureties who dared to asked the reason for Segun Olatunji’s arrest and detention which one of the security personnel responded by saying; “he was arrested for terrorism.”

After almost two weeks after his abduction, the Federal Government finally confirmed the whereabouts of Segun Olatunji by admitting that he was held up at a detention facility owned by the DIA and later assured that it was working to secure his release from the DIA facility at the latest, on Thursday.

The news of Segun Olatuni’s expected release was conveyed to the Publisher of FirstNews, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mr Mohammed Idris through a phone call on Wednesday night.

Speaking on the Government efforts, Iworiso-Markson said that the Information Minister described the circumstances surrounded the detention of Olatunji as unfortunate, adding that the news of his arrest was not made known to him early enough, saying that the moment it was brought to his attention, he swung into action by reaching out to the relevant security agencies.

The Information Minister further said he and the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, made frantic efforts to get the Army to release him, but on several occasions, they initially denied that Olatunji was in their custody.

Idris explained that, but for the persistence of the NSA, they finally owned up that he was in the custody of the DIA, an agency under the command of Maj-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye.

Iworiso-Markson further said that he also received assurances from the President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba, that Olatunji would regain his freedom today (Thursday).

In his words; “But for the increased pressure mounted by the media and other well-meaning Nigerians, urging the federal government through the President to direct the military to release Segun Olatunji, only God knows what would have become his fate.

“The most recent press release issued by the International Press Institute (IPI) categorically fingered the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), as being behind the abduction of Olatunji.

The abduction in commando style of Olatunji and subsequent detention without trace, calls for sober reflection on how institutions of government particularly, the military continue to subvert democratic ethos and respect for the rule of law which is the hallmark of democracy.


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