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NIGERIA/NEWS BLOGGERBack
[Published: Thursday October 23 2008]

Nigeria detains news blogger

Abuja , 24 Oct-(ANA)- AUS-based Nigerian news blogger is being held without charge by Nigeria'ssecret service, correspondents say.

Jonathan Elendu was taken intocustody when he arrived in the capital, Abuja,on a family visit.

The State Security Service(SSS) has refused to allow his lawyers access to him and denied him a medicalvisit.

Elendureports.com is one of anumber of diaspora-run "citizen reporting" websites about Nigeria and isknown for publishing controversial stories.

According to Nigerian lawanyone arrested must be charged in court within 48 hours, but correspondentssay the rule is frequently broken.

The SSS told Mr Elendu'slawyer that Mr Elendu had not been "arrested", but"invited" for talks at their headquarters.

An SSS spokesman said he wasbeing investigated for "acts of sedition", but refused to givedetails.

Elendureports.com operatesfrom Lansing in Michigan and publishes often controversialstories about Nigerian politicians, accusing some of them of corruption andother crimes.

Their stories are often basedon anonymous sources.

Another US-based Nigerian newswebsite, Saharareporters.com, quotes anonymous sources as saying Mr Elendu mayhave been arrested because of photographs it published a few months ago showingPresident Umaru Yar'Adua's son.

The Saharareporters.compictures, which caused a stir in the local media at the time, showed13-year-old Musa Yar'Adua waving wads of money around and holding a policeman'sgun.

International media rightsgroups Reporters Without Borders has called for Mr Elendu's release. .

Two foreign journalists havebeen detained and deported by the SSS for reporting in the politicallysensitive oil-rich Niger Delta region over the last few months.

In September, six localreporters and media executives were detained and questioned after a televisionchannel reported, after receiving a hoax e-mail, that the president planned toresign. (ANA)

FA/ANA/24 October 2008---


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