Daniel Ojukwu was arrested over report on Orelope-Adefulire's OSSAP-SDGs - FIJ


Daniel Ojukwu

By Taiwo Okanlawon

The management of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) says its journalist, Daniel Ojukwu, was detained by the police over a story on contract procurement by the office of the senior special assistant to the president on sustainable development goals (OSSAP-SDGs).

Ojukwu has been in police custody since May 1 after he was “abducted” in Lagos.

The family of the journalist and FIJ management were initially not aware of his whereabouts until 48 hours after he was declared missing.

The journalist was not allowed to communicate with his family members and friends as his mobile gadgets were seized.

On Sunday, popular human rights lawyer, Ridwan Oke, revealed that Ojukwu had been taken to Abuja from Lagos.

According to police public relations officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, the journalist has a case to answer over alleged violation of sections of the Cybercrime Prohibition Act 2015.

Providing an update on the incident, chairperson of FIJ’s board of trustees, Bukky Shonibare, said the journalist has been moved from the national cybercrime centre in Abuja to the force criminal investigation department.

Shonibare confirmed that Ojukwu is being held over a report he authored on contract procurement by the OSSAP-SDGs headed by Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.

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Orelope-Adefulire, a former Lagos deputy governor, is the special assistant to the president on sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The OSSAP-SDGs has been led by Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire since March 7, 2016, and its purpose is to help Nigeria achieve the 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations (UN).

One of these goals is quality primary education, and the office regularly awards contracts for the construction of classroom blocks in several parts of the country to meet this goal.

However, since Orelope-Adefulire began advising the president, there have been questionable activities rocking the office.

In 2019, Premium Times reported how the legislature inflated the office’s budget by over N5 billion.

On November 7, 2023, Ojukwu authored a report “SPECIAL REPORT: 2 Weeks Before End of Buhari’s Tenure, Special Assistant Adejoke Adefulire Paid a Restaurant N147.1m to Build Classrooms in Lagos. A Lot Was Amiss”.

In the report, it was stated that Orelope-Adefulire’s office paid N147 million to Enseno Global Ventures Ltd for the construction of one skill acquisition centre (type A) with a pile on the raft foundation and one block of six classrooms at Ajeromi Primary School, Lagos state.

The money was paid to the company on May 15, 2023 — 13 days before the end of the tenure of Buhari’s administration.

The report stated that the company — Ensemo Global Ventures — is an Abuja-based restaurant.

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