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World

Report: Nigeria Detains Reporter Over Boko Haram Link

The Nigerian Embassy had denied him a passport and issued only an emergency travel document

A video taken of Aubakar Shekau, the leader of the extremist group Boko Haram of Nigeria, photo: AP/Archive
12 months ago

Nigerian intelligence agents Monday detained a journalist off an aircraft arriving from Dubai, over alleged links to Boko Haram and purported knowledge of the kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, Nigerian media and a security agent reported.

Sahara Reporters, an online news site, quoted a passenger who was seated next to Ahmad Salkida as saying the Nigerian journalist was nervous on the flight and told her he expected to be arrested by Nigeria’s intelligence agency, which knew his flight details because the Nigerian Embassy had denied him a passport and issued only an emergency travel document.

The passenger said he was detained at the door of the aircraft after it landed in Abuja, the capital, from Dubai, where he lives in the United Arab Emirates, according to Sahara Reporters. A security agent at the airport confirmed that agents of the Department of State Security detained Salkida. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not supposed to talk to reporters.

Nigeria’s army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman declared Salkida a wanted man last month after the journalist posted online a video sent to him by Boko Haram. Usman did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.

It showed about 50 of 218 missing students kidnapped in April 2014 from northeastern Chibok town, with one girl begging the government to agree to a prisoner swap with detained Boko Haram leaders.

The video included a masked Boko Haram fighter saying the government could use as an intermediary the journalist that the extremist group trusts.

Salkida said then that he knew nothing of the whereabouts of the so-called “Chibok girls.”

Salkida, who was born in northeastern Borno state where Boko Haram began its Islamic uprising in 2009, has reported extensively on the extremist group as well as on Nigerian military abuses and corruption.

MICHELLE FAUL

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