Nigeria’s State Security Service or SSS, the same intelligence agency that shut down Channels TV for legally broadcasting incorrect information about President Yar’Adua, is at it again.
Jonathan Elendu, the writer at Elendu Reports, was arrested by Nigeria’s SSS on Saturday evening upon arrival in Nigeria from the United States. Elendu was reportedly arrested to answer questions because his ‘activities’ have allegedly generated some national security issues. One publication specifically reported that Elendu was arrested for “sponsoring a guerilla news agency.”
He was held for over 24 hours before he was interrogated. A spokesperson for the SSS told the Nigerian media that the “rule of law” would be followed and that Elendu wold be given an opportunity to defend himself, saying,
“Mr. Jonathan Elendu was invited today to answer questions on matters concerning national security which has to do wtih his reports. [sic] We are following the rule of law in whatever we are doing. After the question and answer, we can now establish the facts why he was invited.”
It is not clear whether Elendu has been released or whether he will be held indefinitely. What is clear is that “other on-line publishers who are abroad run the risk of being arrested on their return to Nigeria.” Continue reading
The arrest of Jonathan Elendu is one in a long line of attacks against freedom of the press in Nigeria (arrests, harassments and murder of anyone critical of the government) and one which is particularly characteristic of military dictatorships the remnants of which continue to remain active in the country.