Falana demands immediate, unconditional release of media activist, Arogundade, from DSS custody

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A foremost Human Rights Lawyer in Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana SAN, Thursday called for the release of Mr Lanre Arogundade from the custody of the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Falana made the call in a statement issued and personally signed by him, a copy which was sighted by Blueprint in Abuja.

Arogundade, a former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NAN) is a media activist and the current executive director of the International Press Institute based in Lagos.

According to report, he was arrested on Thursday February 10, 2022 at Murtala Mohammed International Airport by officials of DSS on alighting from Gambia where he had gone to deliver a lecture.

After the purported arrest, he was immediately whisked away to an unknown destination by the men of the operatives.

However, as at the time of filing this report, no reason has been adduced for the arrest and detention of Arogundade.

Falana statement reads; ” Mr Lanre Arogundade left Nigeria on January 30, 2022 for Banjul, The Gambia to conduct a training programme on “Conflict Reporting for Journalists”.

“The training programme was organised by the UNESCO (Gambia) and International Press Institute. Mr. Arogundade is the Executive Director of the International Press Institute based in Lagos and former President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).

“We have confirmed that his name is not on Watch List, hence he was not prevented from travelling out of Nigeria. We have equally confirmed that he did not commit any offence in the Gambia to warrant his arrest and detention by security agencies in Nigeria.

“In fact, Mr. Arogundade conducted himself as a law abiding citizen of Nigeria throughout his stay in The Gambia. Even though the State Security Service said that Mr. Arogundade has no right to enter Nigeria, he has not been sent back to the Gambia or any other country that might have been adopted for him.

“Since the harassment of Mr. Arogundade cannot be justified, we are compelled to demand for his immediate and unconditional release from the illegal custody of the State Security Service.”

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