Abducted FirstNews editor Segun Olatunji regains freedom

FirstNews editor Segun Olatunji

Editor-in-chief of FirstNews newspaper Segun Olatunji, who was abducted from his home in the Iyana Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos State, has regained his freedom.

Reports say he was released by operatives of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) early Thursday.

Mr Olatunji was said to have been released to the general secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) Iyobosa Uwugiaren and The Nation deputy rditor Yomi Odunuga under a bridge in Asokoro, Abuja.

The security agents reportedly had masks on while the number plates of their vehicles was also said to have been covered.

All the documents for his release were reportedly signed inside a vehicle with armed operatives.

Olatunji, a former Kaduna State correspondent of The PUNCH, was abducted on Friday, March 15.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other stakeholders earlier condemned Olatunji’s abduction, noting that it was a threat to freedom of the press.

Gunmen abduct former PUNCH reporter Segun Olatunji after controversial reports

A statement signed by the assistant national secretary of NUJ Akorede Opeyemi said: “The disappearance of Segun Olatunji, the editor of First News newspapers, is another sad reminder of the danger being faced daily by journalists in the line of duty.

“Eyewitness reports had it that Olatunji was taken away last Friday in his Lagos home in the presence of his family by 10 fully armed men, two of whom were dressed in military uniform.

“Although it is not clear which agency of government was responsible for the arrest of the journalist, we believe that freedom of the press and opinion remain defining elements of the rule of law and democracy.

“For this reason, the Nigerian government needs to work to protect freedom of the press and freedom of movement for media professionals. Safety and security of journalists are very important.”