The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested a film director and cinematographer, Priye Amachree over alleged links with the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and three Israelis the lawless state police recently arrested and detained.
Amachree, who is a Director at HomeBase Media in Jos, the Plateau State capital, was picked up by the secret police around 4.30 pm on Wednesday on Oshikomaya Street, off CMD Road in Lagos, a source told SaharaReporters on Sunday.
According to the source, none of Amachree’s relations or friends have been able to reach him since Wednesday and they also do not know his whereabouts.
“Amachree was linked to the Israelis that were arrested, detained and recently released by the DSS but till date, no one seems to where he was taken,” the source said.
SaharaReporters also leant that Amachree assisted the Israelis as a tour guide and arranged logistics for them during their visit to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, according to information on Amachree on his LinkedIn page, his company “provides multimedia solutions ranging from documentary production, animation, TV /Radio production, Design + print”.
“We produce and plan your media project,” it added.
SaharaReporters had reported how three Israeli filmmakers were arrested by the DSS for alleged links with IPOB.
The Israelis, Rudy Rochman, a Zionist activist; Noam Leibman, filmmaker, and David Benaym, French-Israeli journalist, were said to be arrested on July 9 when they visited Ogidi village in the Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra state.
They were said to have left Ben Gurion Airport, Israel, on July 5 and arrived in Nigeria the following day to film a documentary titled, ‘We Were Never Lost’, which seeks to explore Jewish communities in African countries such as Kenya, Madagascar, Uganda, and Nigeria.
The Israeli filmmakers were released on Friday, July 30 after spending 20 days in the custody of the DSS in Abuja.
It was learnt that they were released after investigation showed they had no link with members of IPOB, whose leader, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently standing trial for charges including terrorism and treasonable felony.
Kanu was recently abducted and extradited to Nigeria from Kenya.
According to Times of Israel, the Israeli filmmakers were arrested on suspicion that they had come in contact with Biafran separatists.
Their families were quoted in a statement as saying local political elements twisted the gifting of a Torah scroll and some other items to local communities as constituting support for separatist political ambitions.
“The filmmaking crew thought it would be a nice gesture to bring several gifts with cultural symbolism to the communities it planned to visit,” the statement reads.
“Unfortunately, members of non-state political groups have hijacked for their own purposes images of the filmmakers gifting a Torah to a local community.
“These individuals are distorting the intentions of the filmmakers in an effort to manufacture a connection to local political matters when no such connection exists.
“These politically motivated actors have taken a simple gesture of kindness and twisted it in an attempt to create an alternate meaning.”
The families said the documentary series “are designed to educate viewers about the religious and cultural experiences of lesser-known Jewish communities”.
They added that the goal of the filmmakers is “to interview members of Jewish communities across multiple African countries, along with Jewish communities in China, India, Afghanistan and elsewhere”.
“This documentary is not intended to make any political statements about the countries in which filming will take place, nor does the filmmaking team endorse any political movements. The filmmaking crew acts as a guest visiting the country and its various communities – there are no political overtones,” they said.