Salkida freed after Boko Haram questioning

Ahmad Salkida

Ahmad Salkida

A Nigerian journalist declared wanted by the authorities for alleged links to Boko Haram has been released from custody, the BBC reported him as saying 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 more than two years ago.

Nigerian media reported that he was arrested when he arrived in the capital Abuja on a flight from the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

But the BBC 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 kidnapped girls.

He has maintained he has done nothing wrong and that he was prepared to return to Nigeria to speak to the authorities.

A total of 218 schoolgirls from the Borno state town of Chibok are still being held by Boko Haram.

The militants have said they will release them in exchange for imprisoned rebel fighters held by the government.

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