Nigerian held for tweeting attack pictures

2014-04-12 19:00


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Lagos - Nigeria has released a man who was arrested for tweeting pictures of an attempted jail break at the headquarters of the intelligence agency in Abuja, a family friend said on Saturday.

Yusuf Siyaka Onimisi, who works for a national electricity firm, was arrested and held incommunicado for at least 11 days after tweeting the pictures.

"Yes, Yusuf Onimisi has been released. His younger brother, Sanusi Onimisi, a student at Bayero University in Kano, spoke to him by telephone earlier today," the family friend, Frank Edohor, said.

"We still do not have the details surrounding his release but he [Yusuf Onimisi] is in Abuja after his release and he is ok," added Edohor.

The case sparked concern from human rights groups, with Amnesty International on Friday urging the Nigerian security forces to disclose Onimisi's whereabouts.

Security concerns

The 32-year-old works for Nigeria's national electricity firm and was assigned to a sub-station within the presidential compound in Abuja.

The compound is near the Directorate of State Services (DSS) headquarters where the agency said there was an attempted jail break on 30 March, sparking a gun battle that killed 21 detainees.

Reports suggested Boko Haram militants were among the detainees trying to escape, but there has been no official confirmation of the group's involvement.

Nigeria's security forces, including the secret police, have frequently cited national security concerns to justify arresting people who publish sensitive material.

DSS spokesperson Marylin Ogar did not respond to phone calls seeking comment on Onimisi.

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