Police have released the publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, and paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu, on bail.
They were however asked to report to the police station at 8am on Friday.
At about 5pm on Thursday, plain-clothed officers, acting on a petition by the chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, conducted search in the office and then picked Mr. Olorunyomi and Ms. Okakwu.
The two journalists were first taken to FCT Police Command in Garki 2 before they were transferred to Wuse Police Station, where they were granted bail.
According to the General Editor of the newspaper, Festus Owete, the arrest was linked to a December 16, 2016 report by PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Burutai would be investigated by the Code of Conduct Bureau over false asset declaration.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau has pledged to invite Nigeria’s Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, for questioning as it verifies his asset declaration to determine whether or not he is culpable of false asset declaration,” the paper had reported with clear attribution.
Amnesty International also joined the call for the release of the journalists, urging the authorities to either release them or charge them to court.
“We have received reports that the Nigeria police today raided the offices of Premium Times online newspaper and arrested its editor and judicial correspondent. The reason for these arrests is not yet known,” said Makmid Kamara, Interim Director of International Nigeria.
“We call on the authorities to either release the two journalists immediately or charge them with a recognisable criminal offence. They should also be given full access to their lawyers and families. Amnesty international will investigate the circumstances of this raid and the arrests.”
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