The arrest of Nigerian journalist Daniel Ojukwu has ignited fresh concerns about the deteriorating state of press freedom in Nigeria. Ojukwu, who works for the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), was detained last week in Lagos under the country’s controversial Cybercrime Act.

Daniel Ojukwu's Arrest Ignites Fresh Concerns Over Press Freedom Restrictions in Nigeria

This law, enacted in 2015, has been repeatedly criticized by rights groups who argue it gives authorities wide latitude to stifle critical reporting. Ojukwu’s arrest came shortly after he published a report alleging financial impropriety by a high-ranking government official.

His family and colleagues reported him missing on Wednesday and only learned of his detention two days later. He is being held at a police station in Lagos, accused of violating the Cybercrime Act.

The FIJ has condemned the arrest, calling it a blatant attempt to intimidate investigative journalists. “This is a clear message from the government: silence critical voices or face the consequences,” said FIJ director Bukola Bukar.

Ojukwu’s case has garnered significant attention both domestically and internationally. Local press unions have staged protests demanding his release, while international rights organizations have called on the Nigerian government to uphold press freedom.

Protesters protesting for Daniel Ojukwu's release

Nigeria already has a poor record on press freedom. According to Reporters Without Borders, the country ranks 130th out of 180 on their World Press Freedom Index. This incident is likely to further damage the country’s reputation and raise questions about its commitment to democratic principles.

The outcome of Ojukwu’s case is being closely watched. It could set a precedent for how the Nigerian government treats investigative journalism in the future.