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Another Blogger, Emmanuel Emeke Asiwe of Huhuonline arrested at the airport in Lagos

December 30, 2008
The Yar'adua regime, in its renewed clampdown against free speech, has arrested another blogger, Emeka Asiwe, the publisher of Huhuonline.com.  

 According to family members, Asiwe was arrested at the Murtala Muhammad Airport in Lagos as he arrived from the United States.  He was on the way to a funeral in the Eastern part of Nigeria.  Shortly after his arrest, Asiwe was reportedly flown to the State Security Services headquarters to Abuja and detained.  He has been allowed no access to lawyers or family members.


The arrest of the publisher of Huhuonline.com comes on the heels of the weeklong detention of another blogger, Jonathan Elendu of Elendureports.com. Elendu was released on Wednesday by the SSS after they had failed to sustain charges of sedition against the Michigan-based blogger.  The SSS has, however, held on to his international passports and have threatened to re-arrest him if he continues to publish "subversive" reports against the Yar'adua regime.

Presidency sources confirmed to SaharaReporters that the regime has compiled names of "problematic" websites and their publishers as well as critical online writers and commentators and placed them at points of entry with dedicated secret service agents to pick up Nigerian citizens engaged in critical online publications.  

SaharaReporters reporters have been specifically targeted by the Yar'adua regime because of our evidence–based reporting of the affairs of the regime even though our pages are open for rebuttals 24 hours a day.  The federal government has never challenged our facts.

The harassment and detention of online publishers enjoys the blessing of Yar'adua, who gave the go-ahead and has adequately funded a special squad headed by the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), Afas Gadzama, for this purpose.

Also, the Chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mrs. Farida Waziri was part of an elaborate plot to harass and possibly ensure the disappearance of Nigeria-focused online publishers and bloggers. In the past two weeks, she has assisted the prolonged SSS detention of Jonathan Elendu, thus confirming that the onslaught by the federal government is by teamwork.  
It would be recalled that when the SSS had run out of excuses to keep Mr. Elendu, Mrs. Waziri offered her facilities to deny the blogger his freedom by keeping him at the headquarters of the EFCC while pretending they were investigating him for "money laundering". 

SaharaReporters later reported the EFCC chairperson had in the last 46 days also ordered the detention of another online writer, Adamu Gwarzo.  Mr. Gwarzo, a writer for a Swiss–based online website, AFRIQUECHOS remains in detention without charges being preferred against him.

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