Nigeria: Journalist Accused of Working With Boko Haram Arrested

On September 5, 2016, Nigerian journalist Ahmed Salkida, who has been wanted along with two others by the Nigerian Army over a video from the violent extremist group, Boko Haram, was arrested.

Salkida was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja just after getting off a flight from the Middle East, where he had reportedly been living.

Salkida who was returning to the country having been declared wanted reportedly told someone on the flight that the State Security Service (SSS) was aware of his trip so he was afraid of being arrested.

On August 14, 2016, the Nigerian Army declared Salkida and two others—lawyer Aisha Wakil and activist Ahmed Bolori—“wanted.” The army said it was interested in these three persons because of their alleged connection to Boko Haram.

In a press statement, Colonel Sani Usman, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, said, “There is no doubt that these individuals have links with Boko Haram Terrorists and have contacts with them. They must therefore come forward and tell us where the group is keeping the Chibok Girls and other abducted persons to enable us rescue them.”

Salkida, who had built and sustained a network of sources within the Boko Haram group, had almost-exclusive access to the group and was for a while, the only journalist who consistently wrote pieces and provided information that other journalists depended on.

“When the crisis broke, I was the only reporter who could go into the sect’s enclave, even security agents were eager to hear from me what I saw when the sect held sway for over three (3) days,” Ahmed once said in an interview with blogger, Abang Mercy.

Reports indicate that he has admitted to receiving two video clips from Boko Haram before the group released the said videos to the public. Salkida has however denied any involvement with Boko Haram.

Salkida was released on September 6, after being interrogated without his lawyer.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) is not certain about Salkida’s involvement with Boko Haram but will continue to highlight new developments in his case.

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