Report has it that two foreigners were arrested by the State Security Service while staying at Treasure Suites, a hotel located across from the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, for photographing the court from their hotel balcony.
The SSS operatives and police officers took the foreigners, who were white and thought to be Americans by police officials on the site, away in a white Toyota Hilux vehicle.
At the scene, a police officer told the news men that “they even entered the hotel and got the manager to show them their CCTV footage so they could locate one of the males and grab his phone.”
A Lady who was suspected to be the manager of the hotel, were seen outside pleading with SSS officers not to take the foreigners away, Her cries went unheard.
Another police officer informed the Newsmen that the Americans would just be questioned and requested to remove the footage, rather than being tortured.
“They won’t do anything to them; they’ll just ask them to write statements and delete the film they took,” the officer added on the condition of anonymity to avoid being punished for making public comments.
Only a small group of pro-government media outlets would be permitted entry to the court today, according to one of the SSS officers stationed at the court’s entrance. While The Gazette and other media outlets deemed critical of the Buhari administration would be barred.
“No matter what you do, you will not be allowed to attend this courtroom today,” the officer stated. He refused to give his name.
The SSS’s spokesman did not respond to The Gazette’s requests for comment on the arrests.
Ten media outlets were allegedly accredited to cover today’s proceedings in Mr Kanu’s trial, according to a contentious list distributed on Sunday night.
The case of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, who was controversially seized by Nigerian operatives and deported to Nigeria from Kenya on June 29 has been deferred until today.
The court has been heavily guided by SSS officials as part of an active move to restrict lawyers, journalists, and other court observers access to the premises for the procedure. Two key routes leading to the federal courthouse were sealed down by the officers.
After Mr Kanu’s lawyer, Ifeanyi Ejiofor, encouraged supporters of the separatist leader to appear at the trial without fear, the measures became more severe.
“It is critical to emphasise that anyone who wishes to come is not breaking the law if they do so peacefully, Ifeanyi Ejiofor stated, “Kanu’s trial is an open trial, not a secret trial, and he is assumed innocent unless proven guilty.”
Three Israeli filmmakers were arrested by the SSS while recording a documentary in Igbo-dominated Eastern Nigeria two weeks ago, accusing them of supporting Mr Kanu and IPOB. The foreigners are still being held captive.
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