At Last Detained Journalist, Ezenekwe Regains Freedom

Posted on July 16, 2022

IZUNNA OKAFOR

Barely 10 days after his detention at a Maitama Police cell in Abuja, Anambra-born journalist and media practitioner, Mr. Ikenna Ezenekwe, has finally regained his freedom.
Mr. Ezenekwe, who announced his release from Police custody in a telephone interview on Friday, also noted that he was released few hours ago.
According to him, he was freed after investigation, while all charges against him have also been dropped.
Mr. Ezenekwe, who is the the Editor of the online newspaper 247UREPORTS (www.ureports.com), was arrested on July 5 (last week Tuesday) in Abuja by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) monitoring team, acting on the instruction of the former Chief of Staff to ex-governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Mr. Primus Odili, who petitioned the Police to arrest him, on the claim that he published a libelous article on him.
He was, however, detained for many days without trial, contrary to the constitutional stipulation that nobody should be held for more than 24 hours without being charged to Court. His continued detention was also as a result of his refusal to name the source of the article, as was demanded by the Police on the instruction of Mr. Odili, which he (Ezenekwe) declined to identify, citing confidentiality and privilege between journalists and news sources.
These attracted reactions and calls from relevant unions and rights groups, including the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria (OPAN) and others, who faulted same as unlawful and unwarranted, and also repeatedly called for his immediate release.
Mr. Ezenekwe was, however, finally released on Friday after some investigations.
Speaking on his freedom, he appreciated the various groups, unions and individuals, who stood by and showed him solidarity all the while he was in detention, assuring them of his esteem regards.
“I am on my way home. I thank you all for your solidarity. Thank God for my freedom. I’ll get back to you,” he said in a telephone interview.

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