Tuesday, 6 September 2016

NIGERIAN ARMY RELEASES BOKO HARAM JOURNALIST! can authoritatively tell that the Nigerian UAE-based Journalist, Ahmad Salkida, who was declared wanted by the Nigerian authorities is free in Nigeria.

Mr. Salkida was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport by security operatives when he returned to the country yesterday.

Earlier, Mr. Salkida was denied access to his lawyer, Femi Falana, who is representing him.

Mr. Salkida, known for his knowledge of the ranks of the extremist sect, Boko Haram, was arrested at the Abuja airport as he arrived from his United Arab Emirate base on Monday.

Salkida was declared wanted alongside two others - Ahmed Bolori and Aisha Wakil - by the Nigerian Army.

He arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport aboard Emirates flight EK 785 and was arrested from the door of the aircraft.

Salkida had reportedly told a passenger on-board the flight, that he knew he would be arrested because he had been declared wanted by the State Security Service (SSS).

"I recognized the journalist from photos posted on the Internet and engaged him in conversation throughout the seven-hour flight", said the passenger who sat next to him during the journey.

She said Mr. Salkida told her that he expected to be arrested upon arrival because he was traveling with an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) and that the State Security Service (SSS) was aware of his coming.

He expressed fear that he would not be given a fair trial and accused the government of pronouncing him guilty without trial.

He also said he didn’t know the whereabouts of the missing Chibok girls as claimed by the Nigerian army.

He however admitted to receiving two video clips from Boko Haram before they were released to the public.

He also said Boko Haram had confidence in his objectivity as an investigative journalist, having previously interviewed Mohammed Yusuf, the founding leader of Boko Haram.

Mr. Salkida had expressed willingness to turn himself in, and security analysts said he fulfilled that promise by flying into the country on Monday.

Mr. Falana, his lawyer, said on Tuesday that authorities had denied him access to Mr. Salkida.

The journalist is believed to be held at a State Security Service facility in Abuja.

Mr. Falana said he had “been briefed as Mr. Salkida’s counsel”, but that he was “still trying to have access to him”.

He said his chamber had dispatched another lawyer in Abuja to see if they could have access to Mr. Salkida, and to know “how to proceed from here”.

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