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Note: This document is from the archive of the Africa Policy E-Journal, published by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC) from 1995 to 2001 and by Africa Action from 2001 to 2003. APIC was merged into Africa Action in 2001. Please note that many outdated links in this archived document may not work.

Nigeria: Civil Liberties Organization, 2

Nigeria: Civil Liberties Organization, 2
Date distributed (ymd): 980107
Document reposted by APIC

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: West Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+
Summary Contents: This posting contains part 2 of a year-end summary report on human rights from the Civil Liberties Organization, Nigeria. The CLO report was originally posted on the Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.nigeria by the Nigerian Democratic Movement (NDM; e-mail:, as OPPRESSION WATCH 22 (December 20, 1997). This and other postings on Usenet newsgroups can be located on the Web by using a searchengine which includes Usenet (such as Part 1 is in the previous posting, which also includes pointers to other recent documents on Nigeria.

+++++++++++++++++end profile++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


(continued from part 1)


On September 18, 1997 the send-off party organised by human rights and pro-democracy groups in Lagos in honour of the immediate past Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) Walter Carrignton was forcibly halted by a team of the Operation Sweep, special security squad of the Lagos State Government. Although the party was holding in the private residence of a NADECO chieftain, the gun wielding security agents broke their way in and forced all the guests to disperse immediately.

Weeks later, Master of Ceremony at the occasion, Barrister Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, was arrested together with his 75-year old man by soldiers from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI). He is still being held allegedly for refusing to retract his statement that soldiers manhandled him while trying to arrest him.

On Thursday December 11 1997, a press conference organised by the United Action for Democracy (UAD) a coalition of human rights and pro-democracy groups was stopped a group of police detective. The conference, billed to address the implication of Yar'adua's death in prison, was holding at the Social Centre of the Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).


The attack on Freedom of Expression increases by the day. While no fewer than 30 journalists are languishing in various prisons - non convicts and convicts alike - several others have been in and out of prison intermittently. The supposedly free journalists are not faring any better as state security operatives keep 'hovering' media establishments.

Shortly after the Abuja Bureau Chief of African Concord Magazine, Mohammed Adamu, was detained, a renewed offensive was launched against the magazine with SSS operatives 'visiting' the premises daily. The entire staffers subsequently abandoned the official premises forcing them to discontinue the production of magazine. The discontinuation not withstanding, Midweek Concord of Wednesday December 3, 1997, reported that the duo of Messrs Lewis Obi and Obie Chukwumba, Managing Director and Deputy Editor of th magazine respectively are being desperately sought after by State Security operatives. This, according to the newspaper has forced Mr Chukwumba to flee his home.

As in the case of African Concord, Tell staffers have since had to abandon their office at ACME Road, Ogba-Ikeja since their Managing Editor was nabbed. Some reporters of the magazine told CLO in an interview that they now meet at secret locations to be able to continue producing their magazine.

According to a statement issued on October 29 signed by the magazine's managing editor, a shadowy organisation parading itself as above the law and even above compiled a list of about 22 names of Tell staffer as their 'hit' targets. The statement furthe stated that the threatening body was demanding huge sums of money as ransom for each of the named staff.

Mr Osifo-Whiskey's detention brings to two the number of Tell staffers currently incarcerated. The other persons, Mr George Mbah, an Assistant Editor is currently serving a 15-year jail term following his conviction by the Gen. Patrick Aziza Tribunal on he trumped up charge of being "accessory after the fact of coup".

Thisday Newspapers' journalists are not faring any better. November 14, 1997 the publisher, Mr Nduka Obaigbena was arrested in Abuja. On release four days later, he was directed to report back to the Directorate of Military Intelligence with four of th journalists on his papers who worked on the Abacha-regime's fourth anniversary story published by the paper titled: Four Men Behind Abacha. One of the journalists so invited who demanded anonymity told CLO in an interview: "The officer who handled our case flatly told us that any attempt to write on Abacha again is at the risk of our lives. After abusing us severely, he told us with air of finality. Next time I have cause to invite you here I won't hesitate to waste (kill) you".


Eight staffers of the Yobe State Television (YTV) in Damaturu were on October 6, 1997 severely beaten by the State Security Agents on the order of the State Military Administrator, Wing Commander John Ben Kalio. Their offence was the airing of the 45-minute documentary on the achievements of the immediate past Military Administrator of the State, Police Commissioner Dabo Aliu relayed by the station.


Two journalists were on October 1, 1997 arrested and detained by Policemen in Makurdi. The journalists Tenkum Kokoh of Democrats Newspaper and Folu Oyewusi of Daily Sketch were arrested while covering a seminar on "Nigeria '98 and the Principles of Rotati onal Presidency" organised in commemoration of Nigeria's 37th Independence Anniversary. No reason was given for their arrest and detention. They were released few days later.


The Kaduna State correspondent of The News and Tempo, Henry Ugbolue was arrested on December 10 by State Security agents attached to the Government House Kaduna, he was severely assaulted and later detained. No reason was given for his arrest. He was neither charged nor accused of any offence till he was released days later.



He is the Abuja Bureau Chief of African Concord magazine owned by detained June 12, winner Basorun MKO Abiola. He was arrested on Sunday July 27, 1997 for allegedly contributing to the cover story his magazine did on one of the aides of the head of state, Major Al Mustapha. Since he was incarcerated, Adamu has been held incommunicado, denied visits by relations, lawyers and doctors. He is yet to be charged.


He is the editor of African Concord Magazine. He was arrested on October 25, 1997 while driving along Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja. Though still using walking stick following a recent accident in which he was involved, Omotunde was reportedly beaten and severely harassed before he was taken to unknown location by the State Security Service operatives who arrested him.


On August 6th 1997, State Security Service (SSS) operatives invaded the premises of Independent Communications publishers of PM News, The News and Tempo Weeklies. They ransacked the editors' offices and arrested Messrs Bayo Onanuga and Babafemi Ojudu, Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor respectively. No explanation was offered for the action. Shortly afterwards three other editors in the group, Messrs Demola Abimboye, Gbenga Alaketu and Jenkins Alumona were also picked up. While Messrs Abimboye and Alaketu were later released, Mr Fakeye was not. On Monday November 17 1997 Mr Ojudu was picked up again at Seme Border town while returning from Kenya where he had gone to attend a conference. He is currently being detained at No. 15 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi office of the State Security Service (SSS).

Two days after Mr Ojudu was detained, an administrative staff of Independent Communications, Mr Rafiu Salawu, who went to Apapa to see Mr Ojudu was equally arrested and detained without any charge since.

A week after Mr Ojudu was detained, PM News, a daily evening newspaper reported that a shoot-at-sight order has been issued on Mr Onanuga.

1.30a.m Monday November 3, DMI officers stormed the residence of Mrs Ladi Olorunyomi asking her to produce Mr Onanuga since the former is the wife of Mr Dapo Olorunyomi, Mr Onanuga's deputy at Independent Communications. Being unable to help with their mand, she was immediately arrested and taken to DMI. She was released two days later. She had been similarly arrested twice in the year apparently in lieu of her husband.

Mr Onanuga has since fled the country following the order on his head.


Wednesday September 10, 1997, operatives of a supposedly special security squad of the Lagos State Government Operation Sweep, forced their way into the residence of the editor-in-Chief Tell weekly magazine, Mr Nosa Igiebor. With one of them pointing h gun at the head of Mr Igiebor's daughter, Obosa they demanded to see Mr Igiebor immediately. Refusing to believe Mrs Igiebor that her hubby who was out o the country, was not around, they arrested her. She was released later that day.

Some weeks after the residence of the Igiebors was sacked, the Tell management issued a statement that the lives of all its editors were in danger. They alleged that they had received series of frightening calls to that effect. Finally on Sunday Novemb 9 1997, the Managing Editor of the Magazine, Mr Onome Osifo-Whiskey was arrested on his way to church.


A senior correspondent with The Post Express newspaper and a 1996 winner of ANA (Association of Nigeria Authors) award, he was arrested together with Ogaga Ifowodo. Akin was returning from Graz, Australia where he had gone on a two and a half month writing fellowship. Akin was previously in the United States on Writers-in-exile fellowship. Like Ogaga, he was first detained at 15, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi office of the State Security Service (SSS) before he was moved to the InterCentre. His doctor, lawyers and relations have equally been denied access.


  • Find stated below the updated list of political detainees in Nigeria

Name + Position + Place of Arrest + Date of Arrest + Detained At + Remarks


  1. Chief Bashorun MKO Abiola + President Elect + Lagos 23/6/94 + Abuja + Detained for declaring himself as President and winner of June 12 1993 election
  2. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo + Former Head of State + 19/3/95
  3. Chief Frank Kokori + NUPENG Secretary General + Lagos 20/8/94 + Bama
  4. Chief Milton Dabibi + former Sec.Gen PENGASSAN + Lagos
  5. Otunba Biyi Durojaiye + Lagos + 12/8/96
  6. Dr Beko Ransome Kuti + Chairman, CD + Lagos + 27/7/95
  7. Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki + Sultan of Sokoto + Sokoto + 4/21/96 + Zing in Taraba State + Yet to be charged to court or accused of any offence
  8. Mr Polycarp Nwite + Ex-Senator + Lagos 6/8/97 + unknown + Arrested and detained without any reason


9. Mrs Chris Anyanwu + Publisher, The Sunday Magazine (TSM) Lagos + 4/6/95 + Convicted by + Patrick Aziza led tribunal for being accessory after the fact of coup
10. Mr Kunle Ajibade + Editor, The News Mag. + Lagos + 23/5/97
11. Mr George Mbah + Asst. Editor, Tell Mag. Lagos + 5/5/97
12. Mr Ben Charles Obi + Editor, Classique + Lagos 4/5/97
13. Mr Alumona Jenkins + Editor, The News Mag. + Lagos + 8/11/97 + DMI
14. Mr Onome Osifo-Whiskey + Editor, Tell Mag. Lagos + 9/11/97 + DMI
15. Mr Hamid Danlami + Publisher of Al-Mazan, a Muslim Newspaper
16. Mr Babafemi Ojudu Editor, The News Mag. + Seme Border + 11/17/97 + DMI
17. Mr Akin Adesokan + Snr Writer, Post Exp + Seme Border + 7/11/97
18. Mr Tokunbo Fakeye + Def. Correspondent of the News
19. Mr Salawu Rafiu + Admin Manager The News + Lagos + 11/14/97
20. Mr Bagauda Kaltho + Kaduna Correspondent + unknown + 7/27/97 + of the News Mag.
21. Mohammed Adamu + Abuja Correspondent of African Concord Magazine
22. Mr Moshood Fayemiwo + Editor, Razor Weekly + Refug.Camp/Cotonou + 4/1/97 + DMI + Arrested and detained without any reason
23. Mr Soji Omotunde + Editor,African Concord Lagos + 10/25/97 + unknown + No reason has been given for his illegal arrest and detention


24. Mr Bariture Bawo Lebe + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
25. Mr Banatu John + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt + Charged before a Port Harcourt Magistrate Court for murder of four Ogoni chiefs after a prolong preventive detention
26. Mr Barbara Vizor + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
27. Mr Popgbara Zorzor + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
28. Mr Gbaruwa Friday + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
29. Mr Nvieda Nasikpo + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
30. Mr Baadom Elijah Leekie + MOSOP activist + Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
31. Mr Blessing Israel + MOSOP activist Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
32. Mr Mousi Taaghalo K. + MOSOP activist + Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
33. Mr Kagbara Bassel + MOSOP activist + Ogoni Area 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
34. Mr Kaa Adam + MOSOP activist + Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 + Port Harcourt
35. Mr Ntiguee Sampson + MOSOP activist + Ogoni Area + 5/1/94 36. Mr Gbodor Godwin
37. Mr Asigba Samuel
38. Mr Nwabare Papah
39. Mr Kobani Benjamin
40. Mr Baribuma Kumanne
41. Mr Ngba Baori


42. Trooper Anang I. Offem + Soldier + Lagos + 4/26/90 + Kirikiri + Arrested and detained + in connection with the April 22, 1990 aborted coup. Granted Amnesty since October 1991, but still in jail
43. L.Cpl Iviero Lucky + Soldier + Lagos + 4/26/90 + Kirikiri 44. L.Cpl Pullen Blacky
45. Wo2 Jomo James
46. Trooper Miebi Christopher
47. WO2 (rtd) Mukoro David
48. Trooper Fakolade Taiwo
49. Sgt Gartie Ortoo
50. Trooper Adelabu Olajide
51. Wo1 Elo Samson
52. Wo2 Ogbewe Augustine
53. Col. Ajayi G.A. Army Officer + Lagos + 4/3/95 + unknown + Convicted by the Aziza military tribunal for treason. Sentence communed to six months
54. Major Obalisa E.U Army Officer + Lagos + 1/3/95 + Lagos + Garrison
55. Ms. Alagoa Lewis Q + Friend of Col. Lawan Gwadabe Lagos + 9/3/95
56. Lt. Col. Mepaiyeda S.B + Former ADC to IBB Lagos + 10/3/97
57. Major Edeh I.O + Army Officer + Lagos + 10/3/97
58. Corporal Ogbinowa G. Army Officer + Lagos + 8/3/97
59. L.Cpl. Onwe Joseph + Army Officer + Lagos + 10/3/97
60. Lt Col Usman D.A.D + + Lagos + 10/3/97
61. Mr. Adaji Ben + Staff of The News Lagos + 11/14/97
62. Major Akinloye Akinyemi + Brother to Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi + Lagos + 26/1/95
63. Col. Lawan Gwadabe + Former Principal Staff Officer to the Head of State + Lagos + 1/3/95
64. Col. Bello Fadile + Director of Army Legal Services + 1/3/95
65. O. Oloruntoba + Army Engineering Officer + 1/3/95
66. Col. Ndubueze + Gen. Staff Arm. div + Jos + 1/3/95
67. Col Roland Emokpae + Army Deputy Provost Marshall + 1/3/95
68. Col Isah + Military Officer + 4/3/95
69. Col Olu Craig + Army Officer + 1/3/95
70. Lt. Col. K.H. Bulus Academy Adjutant NDA + 4/3/95
71. Col. R.D. Obiki + Army Officer + 4/3/95
72. Col V.O Bamgbose + Army Officer + 4/3/95
73. Lt. Col. C.P. Izuorgu + Army Officer + 4/3/95
74. Maj. Oyewole + Army Officer + 4/3/95
75. Col. M.A. Ajayi + Army Officer + 4/3/95
76. Col. M.A. Igwe + Army Officer + 4/3/95
77. Col. D. Usman + Army Officer + 4/3/95
78. Col. Obasa + Army Officer + 4/3/95
79. Col. A.A. Ogunsuyi + Army Officer + 5/3/95
80. Lt.Col. Imo Fabiyi + Defence Counsel to Col Fadile + 29/7/95
81. Mr. Turner Ogboru + Lawyer and Businessman + April 1990 82. Mr. Felix Ndamaigida + March 1995
83. Mr. Peter Ijaola + March 1995
84. Mr Mathew Popoola + March 1995
85. Mr Moshood Yahaya + March 1995
86. Mr Julius Badejo + State Security Officer + March 1995
87. Mr Patrick Usikpeko + Army Officer + March 1995
88. Mr Sanusi Mato + March 1995
89. Capt Moshood Adekunle Raji + 06/1/97 + Detained for writing Mr Warren Christopher of the United States on the issue of June 12.


90. Mr Ogaga Ifowodo + CLO Staff/Lawyer + Seme Border + 7/11/97 + SSS Annex, Ikoyi
91. Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa + Human Rights Lawyer + Lagos + 4/11/97 + DMI
92. Shehu Sani + CD, Vice Chairman + 1/3/95


93. Mr Musa Oko Iya-Afon + unknown + Ilorin + 5/3/97 + Police CID + Arrested and detained for an alleged bomb blast in Ilorin discharged by the court but never released 94. Moshood Nurudeen + March 1995
95. Mr Muhammed S. Lafiagi + unknown + Ilorin + 5/31/97 [see Iya-Afon]
96. Ms Asuku Halima + unknown Abuja + 10/11/97 + unknown + Detained for allegedly peddling rumour against Mrs Abacha.
97. Alhaji Musideen Ajadi + Lagos + 2/12/96
98. Mr Festus Adeboye + Personal Asst. to Dr. Omotshola 26/11/96 + Lagos +
99. Mr. Femi Adeyemiwo + Lagos + 26/11/96
100. Mr Moses Akele Associate of Dr Omotshola + Lagos + 27/11/96
101. Mr Lewis Aimona + unemployed + Lagos + 7/1/97
102. Mr Moshood Yaya + unknown + Ilorin + 5/31/95 Police CID Alagbon Lagos + Arrested and detained for an alleged bomb blast in Ilorin, discharged by the court but never released.
103. Mr Jonathan Alayemo + 18/7/96 + SSS Detention Centre + Alleged to be NADECO agent
104. Chief A. Adegboruwa + 75-yr old father of Ebun-Olu
105. Mr. Ibrahim Y. + Muslim Activist El-ZakZaky, Zaria 12/9/96 + Port Harcourt + Detained incommunicado for 10 months and charged to court on July 31, 1997 with inciting public disaffection and sedition
106. Mr Abubakar Danladi Muslim Scholar + Zaria 12/9/96 + unknown
107. Mr Mohammed Shittu


  1. Professor Wole Soyinka + NALICON leader
  2. Chief Anthony Enahoro + NADECO leader
  3. Gen. Alani Akinrinade + NADECO leader
  4. Mr Dapo Olorunyomi + Dep. Editor-in-Chief, Independent Communications
  5. Mr Ike Okonta + Former Asst. Editor, The News
  6. Mr Sunny Ofili + Former journalist of the African Guardian Mag.
  7. Mr Dele Momodu + Former journalist of the Concord Press
  8. Mr Bayo Onanuga + Editor-in-Chief, Independent Communications
  9. Chief Bola Tinubu + NADECO leader
  10. Chief Ralph Obioha + NADECO leader
  11. Rtd Commodore Dan Suleiman + NADECO leader
  12. Alex Kabba + Former Abuja Bureau Chief, The News Magazine
  13. Tokunbo Afikuyomi + NADECO leader
  14. Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi + NADECO leader
  15. Austin Abada + Former Student activist
  16. Dr Owens Wiwa + MOSOP
  17. Mr. Ledum Mitee + MOSOP Leader





  1. Gen. Sani Abacha Head of State & Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.


CLO, 24 Mbonu Ojike St., Off Alhaji Masha Road, Surulele, Lagos, Nigeria.
Tel: 015-840288, 848513, 836972; fax: 5876876.

This material is being reposted for wider distribution by the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), the educational affiliate of the Washington Office on Africa. APIC's primary objective is to widen the policy debate in the United States around African issues and the U.S. role in Africa, by concentrating on providing accessible policy-relevant information and analysis usable by a wide range of groups individuals.

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