Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, declared wanted by the authorities for alleged links to Boko Haram has been released from custody, according to a report on Wednesday. The military said last month it wanted to question Ahmad Salkida for allegedly concealing information on the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamists over two years ago. Salkida was arrested when he arrived in the capital Abuja on a flight from the United Arab Emirates on Monday. The report also said he had since sent a text message to the broadcaster’s Hausa-language service saying he was “released in less than 24 hours without any conditions”.
He also denied being arrested at the airport, saying he had been given a “pre-arranged lift” by the authorities, whom he said misunderstood the role of journalists in reporting the conflict. The army, which also denied the arrest, said on August 15 it wanted to speak to the journalist, after he tweeted about a new video of the captured schoolgirls before it was published on YouTube. Army spokesman Colonel Sani Usman said at the time there was “no doubt” the reporter and two other individuals “have links with Boko Haram terrorists and have contacts with them”.
Salkida has reported extensively on Boko Haram over the last 10 years and is believed to have high-level contacts within the group and previously been involved in talks to free the remaining 218 kidnapped girls from the Borno state town of Chibok. He has maintained he has done nothing wrong and that he was prepared to return to Nigeria to speak to the authorities. Since August, there have been other arrests of high-profile journalists and political commentators in Nigeria.