Editor of First News Online Released After Two Weeks in Custody


AFTER nearly two weeks in detention, Mr. Segun Olatunji, editor, First News Online Newspaper, has been released by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA).

He was handed over to Mr. Iyobosa Uwugiaren, the General Secretary of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, and Mr. Yomi Odunuga, the Deputy Editor (Nation’s Capital) of The Nation Newspapers, beneath a bridge in Asokoro, Abuja.

The security operatives involved in the release concealed their identities with masks, and their vehicles’ number plates were obscured.

The entire release process, including the signing of documents, occurred inside a security vehicle surrounded by heavily armed personnel.

When questioned about the reason for Olatunji’s arrest, one of the security personnel simply cited “terrorism.”

Pressure from prominent media organizations such as the NGE, the International Press Institute, Nigeria chapter, and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), had intensified, urging President Bola Tinubu to intervene and secure Olatunji’s release who was reportedly held by the DIA.

The NUJ in particular, in condemning Olatunji’s abduction, deemed it a grave infringement on press freedom.

In a statement signed by Assistant National Secretary, Akorede Opeyemi, the NUJ highlighted the peril journalists face in their line of duty, emphasizing Olatunji’s sudden disappearance as a stark reminder of these dangers.

Olatunji was allegedly taken from his residence in Lagos penultimate Friday by ten armed men, two of whom were attired in military uniforms. The exact agency responsible for his arrest remains unclear.

Olatunji was a former Correspondent for the Punch Newspapers in Kaduna and later became editor of his own publication, First News Online.

Further details on the circumstances of Segun Olatunji’s arrest and release are still being expected.  

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