DSS releases Daily Independent’s Abuja Bureau Chief, Tony Ezimakor
The Department of State Service (DSS) has released the Abuja Bureau Chief of Daily Independent Newspaper, Tony Ezimakor, to prevent the occupation of its headquarters in Abuja by civil society organisations, concerned Nigerian citizens and the media and also escape the drama and embarrassment that would have followed the international attention a protest action would have stirred.
Ezimakor was released to his lawyer, Douglas Ekhator, at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, having spent up to seven days in detention after honouring an invitation by the DSS last week.The detention of Ezimakor by the DSS had since sparked public outrage and responses from civil society groups, which condemned the action as an affront to press freedom.
At the fore of the protest front was the #OurMumuDonDo group led by entertainment maestro, Charly Boy, which was already set to occupy the DSS HQ yesterday (Wednesday) with the strong interest and support of the media who had fervently looked forward to the event.
However, the protest was called off after confirmation of the unconditional release of Ezimakor by the DSS. Also, Convener of Concerned Nigerians group, who had also planned to join other civil society groups to execute the protest, Deji Adeyanju, had on Tuesday evening announced that Nigeria’s secret police had invited him to their headquarters.
According to Adeyanju, the DSS pleaded that the protest be put off but he had replied them that the action would not stop except Ezimakor was released. Adeyanju left after two hours with the DSS.
“They pleaded and pleaded but I told them no going back but they released Tony today, then our protest tomorrow would have been overtaken by events”, he told journalists after he left the DSS headquarters.
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