I suffered asthma attack the first night I was detained – FIJ reporter, Ojukwu. Narrates how policemen handled the health crisis


Just-released reporter with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Daniel Ojukwu, who was detained for 10 days by men of the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector General of Police, has recalled hos he suffered an asthma attack the first night he was hauled into a cell said to be meant for condemned people.

Ojukwu was arrested in a manner some stakeholders describe as abduction while on duty in Lagos.

He was accused of being a member of a syndicate but it later came out that it was allegedly in connection with an investigative story he did on a government project.

In an interview after his release, as published by ‘Sunday PUNCH’, he had no inhaler on him when he suffered asthma because his bag had been seized by the policemen.

He said, “When I went behind the counter, all my valuables were taken, and I ended up in a cell. That very night, I suffered an asthma attack. I reached out and told them I needed my inhaler. They had to go out to get one.

“I told them that my inhaler at other personal effects were some of the reasons why I needed to make a phone call. I have two inhalers at home. I use a Ventolin inhaler but they said they’d rather buy me an inhaler. One of the policemen went to buy it and came back, complaining that the price was too high. He had to get a cheaper one for around N8,000. I had to manage that one and took it into the cell.”

On his experience with the security agents, he said he found out that the rot in the system was real but there were still policemen whose integrity were intact:

” I was able to meet fantastic people. There were corrupt policemen, yes. There is a lot of fraud that goes on in the system. This is not even about my case now. So much money goes into bail, especially for people who don’t have a voice. There was a point where people were not willing to tell me their names because I was a journalist.

“But, I also met police officers who would not compromise their standards for any reason. I met people who I would say were not willing to accept the rot in the system; they were willing to fix the system.”

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