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Journalist to spend another 7 days in custody over publication on IG

Nigeria Police is to hold Timothy, brother of  Andrew Elombah, a London-based journalist for another seven days following a warrant issued by a judge of Magistrate Court.

The arrest of Elombah, Timothy and another staff of Elombah was linked to an alleged negative story on the Inspector General of Police.

The journalists were arrested around 4:30 a.m. at their country home in Nnewi on New Year’s Day.

It was learnt that they were arrested by the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad who stormed their home during the festive period. They were later transferred to Abuja for further investigation.

However, on Tuesday January 2, 2018, the Police released Andrew Elombah but said his brother Timothy would be kept in custody for another seven days based on a warrant signed by a magistrate.

Police told newsmen on Tuesday afternoon that they arrested the brothers and, ”a third person” and would be filing criminal charges against them.

The brothers were taken to a magistrate’s court in Mpape, Abuja, on Tuesday where a warrant was issued to further keep Timothy in custody.

“This would enable us carry out our preliminary investigations before filing criminal charges against him,” said police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood.

Mr. Elombah and another man who works for the online platform, Elombah.com, were granted administrative bail Tuesday while Timothy remains in custody.

Timothy Elombah is the editor-in-chief of the online newspaper, which began operations in 2009.

Mr. Moshood declined to tell PREMIUM TIMES the specific charges that would be filed against Mr. Elombah.

Andrew Elombah said his release included a condition that he must not step out of Abuja for the next few weeks, ”or even months.”

“We’re working with our lawyers to see how they could void this stringent condition,” he said. He also added that effort were underway to get his brother out before seven days.

 

Andrew Elombah said the arrests were linked to a story published online, but not on their website.

“They said an opinion piece that denigrated the Inspector-General of Police was published on opinionnigeria.com, which is not our own website,” Mr. Elombah said.

He added that the police said the piece was written by Timothy Elombah under a pseudonym, but failed to present any evidence to support the claim.

When asked, Mr. Moshood would neither confirm nor deny whether the journalists were detained over a story critical of the the IGP.

The trio were initially taken to a SARS detention facility in Anambra after their arrest. They were later moved to Abuja around 7 a.m. Monday.

It is not immediately clear when the journalists would be taken to court for trial.

 

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