16 January 1998


"African Concord" editor arrested; "Omega Weekly" under siege

Incident details

Obi Chukwumba



(IFEX) - The Deputy Editor of "African Concord" magazine, Obi Chukwumba, has
been arrested and detained. Chukwumba was arrested by security operatives at
his Ikeja, Lagos offices on 5 January 1998 and has since been detained at
the Ikoyi, Lagos detention camp of the State Security Service (SSS). The
government has issued no statement and its reason for the arrest is still
unknown. The "African Concord" has long stopped publication, but two of its
top journalists, Mohammed Adamu (Abuja Correspondent) and Soji Omotunde
(Editor), arrested in 1997, are still in detention. (See IFEX alerts of 27
October and 28 July 1997)

**For background, see IFEX alerts as noted**

Elsewhere, security operatives have laid a siege on the offices of "Omega
Weekly", an Ibadan-based magazine, and its editors have gone underground. A
statement by the paper's management said the siege began on 9 January 1998,
when armed security men went to its offices and demanded to see the managing
director and the editors. When told by the office assistant that the
journalists were not around, the security agents left with a promise to come
back. When they returned on 10 January and met a locked office, they queried
the gate-keeper and tried to force their way in. They have been visiting the
office daily since then, insisting that they must get the editors. The
editors have fled their offices and homes and work has been paralysed at the
organization. Reasons for the siege are still not known.


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