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Action Alert, Assault on Dissent, Media, Nigeria

Nigerian blogger, Jonathon Elendu tortured

Nigerian Curiosity is maintaining regular contact with Jonathon Elendu’s family and is publishing regular updates on his detention. The reports are reminiscent of the ugly days of Abacha when disappearance, detention and torture of journalists, activists, politicians, writers, and just about anyone who dared to dissent, where regular occurrences. This latest update reports that Elendu is no longer in SSS custody but has been transferred to the custody of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which is responsible for corruption. As NG asks, how do you go from being charged with sedition and money laundering to corruption in one week?

Meanwhile the Nigeria’s Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA) write that Elendu has been tortured whilst in custody.

According to Nigeria’s Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), detained Nigerian blogger, Jonathan Elendu has been “tortured to either disclose the sources of the several embarrassing news reports on prominent political leaders in Nigeria” and is on a hunger strike because he is afraid that he will be poisoned in jail. HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Mr. Onwubike also said that Elendu “was also being reportedly pressured into framing up some others.”

FRIDAY 31ST OCTOBER – FREE JONATHON ELENDU DAY

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4 Comments

  1. A Person

    Open Letter to Mr Segun Adeniyi (Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity)

    Dear Mr Adeniyi,

    I am using this unconventional method of reaching you since these are unconventional times in Nigeria (as I recently saw an article attributed to you in SaharaReporters, one of the online publications that your boss and his administration are said to regard as subversive, I concluded that you, at least on occasion, trawl through cyberspace in search of news). In what is fast becoming an obvious and disturbing pattern, what the Yar’Adua administration doesn’t like, the Yar’Adua administration crushes — or at least it tries to.

    The recent arrest of Jonathan Elendu, his detention without charge and, from what I gather, the despicable manner in which he has been tossed between the SSS and EFCC offices without access to his family or legal representation is tragic. In as much as I sincerely hope that the young man will either be formally charged without further delay (if, indeed, he is guilty of any crime) or released immediately and unconditionally, what is of far greater concern to me is that there are many, many, more Jonathan Elendus out there. People whose human rights are decimated day in day out by an administration whose excesses have undeniably come to symbolize man’s brazen inhumanity to man. From the spectacular theft of public funds to the hapless individuals who are picked up, locked up, beaten up, sometimes killed by security agencies that ultimately answer to your boss simply for saying things the way they see them, for speaking out against injustice. Then there are those who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
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    What I have been struggling to reconcile is how all of this — and other acts of “madness” such as the charade at the EFCC about which governor’s corruption case file does or does not exist, the alleged attempt by the Nigerian attorney-general to bury the money laundering case against James Ibori in the UK, the 28 returning soldiers who are being tried for mutiny for allegedly staging a peaceful protest over the callous withholding of their salaries after completing a UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia, the Africans for Obama campaign fund-raising saga involving the director-general of the Nigerian stock exchange — can be happening under your watch, given your antecedents. Without as much as a peep from you. I find it hard to believe that the president or the presidency does not have a position on any of those issues. Or perhaps they are not considered serious enough to warrant a statement from your office. When your boss was interviewed by Matthew Green of the Financial Times in May 2008, he was asked to talk about his achievements during his first year as Nigeria’s president. His response was instructive. “I think my greatest achievement is the effort to institute a strict culture of respect for the rule of law in Nigeria.” When a man’s greatest achievement after ruling a country for a year is an “effort” you know you have a problem. Of course, we all know where that effort has led — 17 dithering months into the Yar’Adua presidency.
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    I would like to take you back to the Elendu issue if I may. Please correct me if I am wrong, but when individuals express their candid opinions about the moral fiber of the political class (the way you used to in your previous job) that runs contrary to what the powers-that-be would have one believe, should those individuals be branded enemies of the state? Should they be made to apologise for expressing their honest-to-goodness opinions (in the forthright way that you used to)? I’m sure that in recent times you’ve come across colorful language such as “thieves,” “thieving bastards,” “reprobates,” “gangsters,” “rogues” etc. that abounds in newspapers, internet chat rooms and so on when describing Nigerian politicians. As unpalatable as such appellations must be for the recipients, anyone that contributes — in whatever shape or form — to the mindless looting of the national treasury and the cruel disenfranchisement of generations of his fellow man deserves all the opprobrium, vilification and anything else that society can hurl at him.

    Unwittingly, as a result of its ill-advised attempts at gagging free speech, the Yar’Adua administration is creating a new class of Nigerian journalists and writers — in the broadsheets and in the strictly online domain — who are fast acquiring rock star status. Nigerians such as me can identify with them and derive a vicarious release from their musings. The more desperate and oppressive the government becomes with its undemocratic actions, the more concerted and vitriolic the response from the custodians of the truth. Some of the rock stars appear to have been born fearless, some are tired of being afraid while some are afraid of being tired. The band is growing by the day. There is far too much at stake for it not to.

    Please push for the immediate release of Jonathan Elendu!

    Please push for justice for the 28 returning Nigerian soldiers!

    Please push for the unceremonious sack (and prosecution, as appropriate) of inept and morally bankrupt public officials!

    Please ensure that the Yar’Adua administration practises what it preaches about the rule of law!

    Please set an example and do the honourable thing by resigning if you won’t or can’t do the above!

    Yours sincerely,

    Olayitan Oke

    http://www.saharareporters.com/columnokeletter.php

  2. FRIDAY 31ST OCTOBER – FREE JONATHON ELENDU DAY. You have my full support.

    Beautys last blog post..Future oil conflict – Nigeria

  3. Anonymous

    If somebody told me that Nigerian politicians shall still be going down this dark lane, it would have shocked me.It is such wanton man haunting that hurts and keeps holding Africa hostage. I know you might ask me why Africa when i am referring to a Nigerian issue. The answer is simple. Nigeria is Africa in miniature. Out of every ten black people in the streets out of Africa are Nigerians. Going by this statistics one must conclude that whatever happens in Nigeria affects the rest of bl Africa. However in Africa and Nigeria in particular, shock is an abberation. Every happens and everything goes in Africa and Nigeria. Arresting Jonathan Elendu and denying him access to advocacy and links with his family is heinous and evil. Haba Baba Yar Adua can’t freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of thought reign in Nigeria? If truly there is democracy in Nigeria, then free our brother and writer so that he can continue with his good work of being an informant to others who might not be opportune to be sourced with such information. Life calls for choices and choices our ours to make as individuals. It sounds stuid and naive when basic human rights are abused and grossly violeted by the government that was voted to safe guard it.Where do we run to when there seem to be no hidding place? This arrest reminds Nigerians that there are so many Abacha’s in Nigeria and must be weeded out.

  4. If somebody told me that Nigerian politicians shall still be going down this dark lane, it would have shocked me.It is such wanton man haunting that hurts and keeps holding Africa hostage. I know you might ask me why Africa when i am referring to a Nigerian issue. The answer is simple. Nigeria is Africa in miniature. Out of every ten black people in the streets out of Africa are Nigerians. Going by this statistics one must conclude that whatever happens in Nigeria affects the rest of black Africa. However in Africa and Nigeria in particular, shock is an abberation. Everything happens and everything goes in Africa and Nigeria. Arresting Jonathan Elendu and denying him access to advocacy and links with his family is heinous and evil. Haba Baba Yar Adua can’t freedom of expression, freedom of movement and freedom of thought reign in Nigeria? If truly there is democracy in Nigeria, then free our brother and writer so that he can continue with his good work of being an informant to others who might not be opportune to be sourced with such information. Life calls for choices and choices our ours to make as individuals. It sounds stupid and naive when basic human rights are abussed and grossly violeted by the government that was voted to safe guard it.Where do we run to when there seem to be no hidding place? This arrest reminds Nigerians that there are so many Abacha’s in Nigeria and must be weeded out. Ruling Nigeria by fear is just the worst thing for a leader to implement. Baba its time for you to stand up and work for the interest of Nigerians so that you may have something to offer as a legacy at the end of your mandate.