Nigerian Journalist Salkida Arrested At Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

Ahmad Saldika

Ahmed Salkida, one of the three people wanted for alleged knowledge of Boko Haram and the whereabouts of over 200 Chibok girls, was arrested in Abuja on Monday. Mr. Salkida, who arrived at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport aboard Emirates flight EK 785, was taken from the door of the aircraft by members of the security forces.

A passenger seated next to Mr. Salkida during the journey informed SaharaReporters that Mr. Salkida was nervous throughout the flight. She said she recognized the journalist from photos posted on the Internet and engaged him in conversation throughout the seven-hour flight.

She said Mr. Salkida told her that he expected to be arrested upon arrival because he was traveling with an Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) and that the State Security Service (SSS) was aware of his coming. He expressed fear that he would not be given a fair trial and accused the government of pronouncing him guilty without trial.

Mr. Salkida further told the passenger that he did not know the whereabouts of Boko Haram leaders or Chibok girls. However, he admitted to receiving two video clips from Boko Haram before they were released to the public. He said Boko Haram had confidence in his objectivity as an investigative journalist, having previously interviewed Mohammed Yusuf, the founding leader of Boko Haram.

It would be recalled that Mr. Salkida had last month accused the government of refusing to renew his passport at the Nigerian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates for fear that he would run away to an unknown destination. He raised concerns that the military was witch-hunting him and wrongly assumed that he was behind the report on the purchase of two properties in Dubai by the Chief of Army Staff, General Yusuf Buratai.