Press Release: SSS re-arrests almizan editor

By Ibrahim Musa
Just about six weeks after his release on New Year day by the State Security Service SSS, with whom he had been detained along with a reporter of the Al-Mizan newspaper for eight days, Musa Muhammad Awwal has once again been whisked away by security operatives. Information gathered from his family members who witnessed the incident say that the Joint Task Force JTF and men of the SSS arived the residence around 3:30 am in several Hilux open-vans and Jeeps carrying sophisticated weapons and in larger numbers than the earlier attack. They demanded that he goes along with them as they had been instructed to bring him from Abuja. The security operatives seized his cell phone and laptop and got him arrested without any warrant or prior information as to the arrest. They also searched the residence briefly before they left. Since his earlier arrest and release, nothing has been mentioned as the reason for the arrest, but at that time it was thought that it was not unconnected with the lead story of a past edition of the Al-Mizan Newspaper which revealed the atrocities of the Joint Task Force in Potiskum in which 84 persons were abducted by them. The way and manner those charged with managing insecurity in the troubled areas are operating is not encouraging at all because of the way and manner they heighten tension and violate the civil rights of their victims. On behalf of the I. M. Publication, publishers of Al-Mizan Newspaper, we hereby call for the immediate and unconditional release of Musa Muhammad Awwal whose arrest has violated due process and his individual human rights. It is unfortunate that in a country that attests to the theories of democracy that law and order could be so loose that individuals could be treated in an extra-judicial manner and their rights violated. The security operatives are given undue freedom to harass and molest innocent individuals thereby violating due process. It cannot be justified that seeking information by security operatives allows them to go ahead of the laws of a democratically oriented societies. In this regard, we shall not relent in our efforts of making this issue publicized all over the world which will subsequently reveal the inadequacies of the security operatives. We hereby call on the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Guild of Editors, Press Union of the Islamic World, Nigerian Bar Association, Human and Civil Rights groups as well as all concerned and well meaning personalities that believe in the tenets of fairness and justice to humanity to out rightly denounce this atrocity perpetrated by security personnel in the name of providing security. Signed Ibrahim Musa (Editor-in-chief, Al-Mizan Newspaper)