By Akinwunmi King, Lagos
After spending ten days in confinement in their hotel room, the two Aljazeera journalists detained by the Nigerian military for allegedly loitering around areas of military operations, have regained their freedom.
The release of the two journalists, Ahmed Idris and Ali Mustapha, who have been detained in Maiduguri, Borno, was said to have been ordered by the Nigerian military. They released in the early hours of Saturday.
It would be recalled that the defence headquarters spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, had in a statement, claimed that the duo were moving around restricted areas in Yobe and Borno States without accreditation.
Subsequently, the two Journalists sued the Nigerian Army challenging their detention, which has been condemned by Nigerian and international civic groups, they were represented by Lagos-based legal practitioner and human rights activists, Femi Falana.
Falana, however, sought a declaration that the arrest and detention by the military was illegal and unconstitutional, thereby violating their right to personal liberty guaranteed by Section 34, 35 and 41 of the constitution and Article 5, 6 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and peoples’ Right Act.
He also sought an order directing the Nigerian military and the army, Kenneth Minimah, to release the journalists from illegal military custody immediately. It is believed that the decision of the journalists to approach the court was responsible for their release.
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