THERE IS AN UPDATE ON THE ELENDU SITUATION. PLEASE READ "DISTURBING NEWS ON JONATHAN ELENDU - TORTURE? HUNGER STRIKE?" WHEN YOU ARE DONE WITH THIS. ALSO, JOIN US ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 31ST FOR "FREE JONATHAN ELENDU NOW!" DETAILS ARE IN THE RIGHT SIDEBAR OF THIS PAGE. THANKS.
Last week Saturday, Nigerian blogger, Jonathan Elendu of Elendureports.com, was arrested and detained by the internal intelligence unit, the SSS. The SSS, which according to the US State Department, reports directly to Nigeria's President, initially accused Elendu of "money laundering" and then by Friday, October 24th, accused him instead of "sedition". Thanks to the attention from bloggers around the world, various international organizations and major news outlets, it appears that there has been a change in Elendu's situation. Nigerian Curiosity has been informed by a family member of Elendu's that he is no longer in SSS custody, but has now been transferred to the anti-corruption agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Additionally, he now has a new lawyer.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
Despite this news, there remains the fact that Elendu continues to be detained despite the fact that he has not been formally charged of any crimes in a court of law. If he is no longer the "charge" of the notorious SSS, what evidence is there to suggest that he should now be the "charge" of the EFCC? How does one go from being publicly accused of money laundering, sedition and then, by suggestion, corruption, within the span of just over a week? Some are beginning to say that this is a ploy to hold onto Elendu and prevent him from ever leaving Nigeria as a free man. Given a troubling history of unlawful arrest and detention, this possibility is not far fetched in Nigeria. If Elendu is guilty of any crime, the evidence should quickly be presented in court and shared with the public. Despite all this, I simply hope, above all else, that there will be no need for any Court processes and that Elendu will be released early this week. I also hope that his seized passport will be returned to him so he can return to Michigan and be reunited with his family. Furthermore, as the US State Department has reported that Nigerians detained by security forces such as the SSS have been abused, sometimes even murdered, I particularly hope that Elendu is released unharmed.
AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP & HABEAS CORPUS
The fact is that, if Elendu were an American citizen, his arrest and detention by the SSS and EFCC would have resulted in swift action by the American government and essentially, Elendu's release. Nigerian Curiosity has also been informed that Elendu, a US Green Card holder, has his US citizenship interview scheduled for next month. Apparently, he has held his Green Card for a long time and upon the inisistence of his sage wife, applied for his American citizenship. Given his recent arrest by the SSS and now his detention by the EFCC, I hope that he will be released in time to attend his interview and that he will be offered American citizenship. American citizenship will likely protect him from any future problems with the SSS or any other Nigerian office on account of his blogging.
Also, Nigeria apparently does not actually guarantee habeas corpus, and historically, the government has rejected court orders requiring the release of detainees. Therefore, being a detained Nigerian citizen essentially means that the Nigerian government can hold you for as long as possible.
THE DEARTH IN INFORMATION
This story is 9 days old and yet there is an incredible lack of information on Elendu's situation. His own family knows little of his present condition. Nigeria's larger newspapers have either decided or have been instructed to not report on this story and ignore it daily. In fact, the number of Nigerians that know about this situation is arguably tiny. It seems that Elendu, and those who seek his release, must therefore rely on the international media to get information on his condition. Hopefully, more foreign news outlets will focus on this story, especially if Elendu continues to be detained.
Please continue to seek Elendu's immediate release from detention and his return to his family in Michigan.
Related Articles of Interest:
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- Suppression In A Democratic Regime
- Nigeria, Be Careful What You Wish For
- The Nigerian Psyche
- Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Significance of Persistent Psychological Paralysis
- The Consequences of Yar'Adua's Mysterious Health
- Rewriting Abacha's History