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Nigeria20 February 2008

Newspaper reporter freed on bail after being held for 12 days

Tunde Raheem, The Sun newspaper’s correspondent in the southwestern state of Ondo, was freed on bail yesterday after being unjustly detained for 12 days, Reporters Without Borders has learned.

18.02.2008 - Arrested while investigating murder, journalist still held 12 days later

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Tunde Raheem, The Sun newspaper’s correspondent in the southwestern state of Ondo, who has been held by the police in the neighbouring state of Ekiti since 6 February.

“It seems that Raheem fell into a trap while trying to verify information he received about a murder,” the press freedom organisation said. “We call on the Ekiti state authorities to immediately release this journalist, who was just doing his job, and to carry out an investigation into this murky affair.”

Raheem arranged a meeting on 6 February with Kehinde Agbele, a professor at Ado-Ekiti public university, in order to check out information he had been sent that seemed to implicate Agbele in a murder. In the course of the meeting, he realised Agbele was the victim of an intrigue and advised him to lodge a complaint with the police. But Agbele accused Raheem of trying to trap him, and he had Raheem arrested.

Held on the orders of the Ekiti state police commissioner, Raheem explained that he was just doing his job, which was to verify information he received. But he has still not been released. His fellow journalists have been trying to get him freed on bail, but so far without success.

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