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2023 GovSpend Media Fellows Demand Immediate Release of Daniel Ojukwu.

Media watch

The 2023 GovSpend Media Fellows have expressed concern over the abduction, arrest and detention of Daniel Ojukwu, an Investigative Journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and a member of the GovSpend Media Fellowship.

The fellows made the call in a press statement jointly issued in response to the incident.

Govspend Media Fellowship is an initiative of BudgIT dedicated to promoting accountability and transparency in government expenditures.

The Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had on May 1st, 2024 abducted and unlawfully detained Daniel Ojukwu.

According to the statement, “it is troubling that the authorities have disregarded the constitution they swore to uphold by subjecting Daniel to false imprisonment.

“These actions go against the purported image of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, especially coming on the heels of World Press Freedom Day.

It maintains that Daniel Ojukwu’s investigative work, along with that of other GovSpend fellows, has been instrumental in uncovering corruption across various levels of government, potentially saving the federal government a significant amount of public funds.

“Daniel Ojukwu’s current predicament is connected to one of the investigative reports under BudgIT’s GovSpend Media Fellowship, which exposed discrepancies in government expenditure and violations of the Procurement Act in executing federal government projects in Lagos and Ogun States.

The statement explains that, “Daniel explored the data provided by the Federal Government on the National Open Treasury Portal to expose violations of the laws by the office of Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Assistant to the President Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs).

“It has also been reported that Muiz Banire, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former National Legal Adviser of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), submitted the petition, which led to the abduction of Daniel Ojukwu by the Nigerian Police Force.

The statement urges President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene immediately by instructing the Inspector General of Police to release Daniel Ojukwu without delay.

“Furthermore, we encourage the authorities to cease their unconstitutional actions and respect the rights of journalists and whistleblowers in Nigeria.

“We condemn this gross violation of human rights and all unjust actions targeted at journalists for their commitment to truth and transparency,” the statement concludes.

By Ifeizu Joe

Ifeizu is a seasoned journalist and Managing Editor of TheRazor. He has wide knowledge of Anambra State and has reported the state objectively for over a decade.

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