The Defence Intelligence Agency has released the editor of First News, Mr Segun Olatunji.

The Publisher of First News, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, confirmed the release of the journalists to our correspondent on Thursday.

Olatunji was released following heavy pressure from the Office of National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.

Mr Olatunji was abducted from his residence at the Alagbado area of Lagos by a team of soldiers penultimate Friday.

The Network investigation revealed that the too Government operatives made moves to ensure the release of the detained editor amidst heightened media concern over his safety.

The military which detained Olatunji did not make any public statement about his detention which created tension in his family, friends and the media community in Nigeria.

It was learnt that the process of his release was conveyed to the Publisher of FirstNews, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, by the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris on the  phone on Wednesday night. 

According to Iworiso-Markson, the Minister described the circumstances surrounding the detention of Olatunji as  unfortunate.

The Minister noted that the news of his arrest was not made known to him early enough but that the moment it was brought to his attention, he immediately contacted the relevant security agencies.

Idris explained that he, along with the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, made frantic efforts to get the army to release him, but on several occasions, they denied that Olatunji was not in their custody. 

He stated that, with  the persistence of the NSA, they finally owned up that he was in the custody of the DIA, an agency under the command of Major General Emmanuel Undiandeye. 

Iworiso-Markson also disclosed that prior to his release, he had received assurances too from the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba, that Olatunji would regain his freedom on Thursday.

“But for the increased pressure mounted by the media and other well meaning Nigerians, urging the federal government through the President to direct the military to release Segun Olatunji, only God knows what would have become his fate.

“The most recent press release issued by the International Press Institute (IPI) categorically fingered the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) as being behind the abduction of Olatunji…”


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