JUNE 30, 2005
Posted: July 7, 2005

Haruna Acheneje, The Punch


State Security Service (SSS) agents arrested Acheneje, a correspondent in Nigeria’s southern Akwa Ibom State for the independent daily The Punch, at his office. The agents detained and questioned Acheneje for about eight hours before releasing him without charge.

While no public explanation was given for the arrest, local sources told CPJ that the SSS action was in retaliation for an article published in The Punch about the recently impeached deputy governor of Akwa Ibom, Chris Ekpeyong. Acheneje was asked to reveal the newspaper’s sources for the article, these sources said.

Acheneje has been targeted in the past by Akwa Ibom authorities and government security forces. In 2003, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly attempted to expel Acheneje from the state in response to an article headlined, “Lawmakers protest non-payment of allowances.”