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On World Press Freedom Day, the police in Nigeria arrest a citizen journalist for doing his job.

IKEJA, Nigeria – Daniel Ojukwu, a journalist with one of the leading investigative outlets in Nigeria, the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, has been detained by the police for witnessing and calling out police brutality.

It is highly ironic and tragic that Daniel was arrested on the same day that the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day.

Police officers stationed in Ikeja, the capital city of Lagos State, arrested Daniel after he cautioned one of them to stop punching a driver.

Daniel explained to me during a phone interview, that he witnessed some police officers without any identifying tags, and one of them was punching a driver.

“One of them was punching a driver, and I called him out and told him he was wrong. I called the police spokesperson and gave them the phone to talk to him.”

“Afterwards, they seized my phone and identity card and took me to the police station.”

When I reached out to Benjamin Hundeyin, the police spokesperson for Lagos State, he refused my inquiries as of press time.

Since then, several press outfits and journalists in Nigeria have been calling for Daniel’s release.

Daniel has been covering social justice issues and reporting on illegal activities in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on issues around the globe that typically don’t get the coverage that they deserve.

Important update regarding Daniel’s arrest. According to a statement that he tweeted out, he was released from police custody.

Editor’s note: This report has been published in a bid to promote press freedom in Nigeria.

Mohammed Taoheed is a freelance journalist based in northwest Nigeria where he studies Law at the Usmanu Danfodiyyo University, Sokoto State. Taoheed is interested in development, conflict, politics, and social justice.