There are mounting fears over the fate of a man who went missing 14 days ago after tweeting pictures of an attempted jail break in Abuja, Amnesty International has reported.
The man, identified by family members as Yusuf SiyakaOnimisi, has not been seen or heard from since 30 March after tweeting developments and images of fighting between Nigerian security forces and detainees trying to escape from the State Security Service (SSS) headquarters. He was reportedly working at an electrical sub-station within the nearby presidential compound when the fighting, which left 21 detainees dead, erupted.
“Nigerian security forces should immediately disclose the whereabouts and legal status of Yusuf SiyakaOnimisi. If he is in detention, Nigerian authorities must either charge him with a recognizable criminal offence or release him immediately,” said Netsanet Belay, Research and Advocacy Director for Africa at Amnesty International.
Yusuf SiyakaOnimisi’s whereabouts are still unknown but witnesses reported that he was arrested by plainclothes armed men outside his office, raising fears the authorities have subjected him to an enforced disappearance, putting him at increased risk of torture or extrajudicial execution.
Amnesty International spoke to SanusiOnimisi, the missing man’s brother, who said Yusuf is the eldest of five siblings and had been working as a qualified electrical engineer.
“He has been arrested for 14 days without any information being given to the family. If the government treats people like this, who are the terrorists? Who is the threat? The family has been kept in darkness. If you are holding him or if there is to be a sentence of death, then tell the family,” said Onimisi.