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In Abuja Police release Premium Times journalists, source says they may be rearrested

Olorunyomi and Okakwu were released on bail later on Thursday but were asked to report at the FCT Police Command HQ on Friday.

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Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi play

Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi

(Premium Times)

The Nigerian police have released the publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi, amid public outcry.

On Thursday, January 19, policemen stormed the Abuja office of the online news portal at 5:00 pm and arrested Olorunyomi and the medium's judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.

The journalists' arrest was said to have been an "order from above."

The police said it received a complaint from the lawyer to the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, accusing the medium and the journalists of defamation of character.

Olorunyomi and Okakwu were however released on bail later on Thursday but were asked to report at the FCT Police Command Headquarters by 8:00 a.m. Friday morning, January 20.

But inside sources say the Friday meeting may be a ploy to detain the journalists for a longer period.

"From what I understand, if they report tomorrow morning, they will be taken to a Magistrate’s Court and arraigned before a judge that will readily comply with the police arrangement and grant order for them to be detained. That way, they can then claim to be detaining them legally," a police source told the newspaper.

ALSO READ: Army drags Premium Times to court over "false" news

The arrest has sparked widespread criticism, with many Nigerians condemning the police and the present administration for its indiscriminate persecution of government critics.

The Amnesty International has also promised to Investigate the incident.

 

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