I was tortured, locked with criminals, FIJ’s reporter recounts ordeal in police cell

Ojukwu Daniel and police officerd

aniel Ojukwu, a Foundation for Investigative Journalism reporter detained for 10 days over a story exposing corruption, says he was “mentally tortured” and locked up with criminals.

Mr Ojukwu, who was released on Friday after spending 10 days in detention, said though he was not physically tortured, he was “mentally tortured,” and locked up with confessed criminals by the Nigerian police.

“I was tortured mentally. I was detached from my normal life. I was not allowed to make a phone call; I was not allowed to reach anybody,” Mr Ojukwu said in an interview with Arise News on Saturday.

He explained that his secret arrest left his family members and employer troubled, and the thought that no one knew his whereabouts in the first few days of his detention troubled him.

“Family members, friends, and colleagues at work had no idea where I was. So, it wasn’t just me I needed to worry about; I also needed to worry about the people who were going through a whole lot of emotional stress because they did not know my whereabouts.

“Nobody knew where I was. So, it wasn’t just about me. I was there in captivity, but a lot of people were going through so much emotional stress. They did not know where I was if I was kidnapped, if I was probably a victim of an ambush, one chance and all that,” Mr Ojukwu said.

Narrating his ordeal in detention, Mr Ojukwu said, “I was locked up with confessed murderers, people who confessed to the crime of murder.”

He further explained that the arrest and detention “opened his eyes to how much injustice and how much inhuman treatment is meted out to suspects—people who are perceived to have committed a crime but haven’t been put before a judge and haven’t been convicted.”

Peoples Gazette on Sunday reached Muyiwa Adejobi, seeking comments on Mr Ojukwu’s claim that he was locked with criminals. However, the police spokesperson did not respond to calls and messages.

Meanwhile, Mr Adejobi earlier claimed the police did nothing wrong in arresting and detaining Mr Ojukwu for 10 days.

Mr Ojukwu was secretly arrested and kept in a police cell on May 1.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.