Officials of the State Security Service (SSS) yesterday re-arrested editor of the Kaduna based Hausa newspaper, Almizan, Mallam Musa Muhammad Awwal. The arrest is coming 45 days after he was released from an earlier arrest.
Awwal was arrested alongside a reporter of the paper, Aliyu Sale on December 24,2012, and released on January 1st this year, following pressures by stakeholders in the media industry.
His wife, Hajia Hannatu, who spoke to Daily Trust, said her husband was arrested by a combined team of the SSS and the Army.
She said he was arrested around 4.am, and that the security operatives ransacked their house before whisking him away.
“After the search, they went away with him, his laptop and phone. They did not molest anybody like they did the last time. When I asked them why they were arresting my husband again, they did not say anything,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Editor-in-chief of Almizan, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of the editor. He said the arrest violated due process.
“Since his earlier arrest and release, nothing has been said about the reason for his arrest, but it is 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, Yobe State, in which 84 persons were abducted by them,” he said.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna State Council, on its part, has expressed shock over the development.
A statement signed by chairman of the union, Comrade Yusuf Idris, described the recent action of the security agencies as uncalled for. The union urged the security agencies to charge the editor to court for whatever offences they have against him or allow him to live his life in peace.