ABUJA — On the day of the trial of Biafran pro-independence activist Nnamdi Kanu, two foreigners suspected of being American journalists were arrested in Nigeria on Monday, July 26.
The two men were apprehended by the country’s secret service, the Department of State Services, at a hotel called Treasure Suites near the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, according to the story.
According to the Peoples Gazette, the DSS seized a phone belonging to another hotel guest, accusing him of watching the separatist leader’s trial from the hotel.
“They even entered the hotel and got the manager to show them their CCTV footage to be able to locate one of the men and seized his phone,” a police officer told Peoples Gazette at the scene.
The Nigerian had announced banned on international and other media from covering the trial of Mr. Kanu in court.
A statement signed by Chief Information Officer, Catherine Oby Christopher on Monday noted that the DSS has only accredited 10 Nigerian media organizations, namely: ThisDay, Premium Times, The Nation, Daily Independent, The Herald, National Television Authority , Continental Television, African Independent Television, Daily Post and Channels Television.
Authorities refused to comment on the sudden breach of press freedom and citizens’ rights to monitor a trial, citing no cause.
After being detained in Kenya and illegally deported to Nigeria, Nnamdi Kanu, a human rights activist, is currently being held in the Nigerian Department of State Services detention camp in Abuja.
The separatist leader, who fled to Israel in 2017 after soldiers attacked his residence, killing several residents in an attempt to assassinate him, is accused of treason and other unsubstantiated crimes for calling for a referendum on the independent state of Biafra in the country’s east.