Three Israelis who came into Nigeria on July 5 to shoot a documentary tagged ‘We Were Never Lost’, are said to be in the custody of the Department of State Service after being arrested.
They were reportedly apprehended on account of alleged support for the Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and its detained leader, Nnamdi Kanu.
Times of Israel reported on Tuesday that those arrested were Rudy Rochman, Noam Leibman and French-Israeli journalist E. David Benaym.
Families to one of them confirmed the arrest to Times of Israel, adding that before the development, “ separatist social media accounts took advantage of the Israelis’ trip to claim that the three were supporting Biafran separatist groups.”
The Israeli Embassy in Abuja is said to be monitoring events and was in contact with the federal government.
Checks by our correspondent showed that the ‘We Were Never Lost’ is a documentary series trying to reconnect Jewish communities around the world.
On July 8, it announced its mission in Nigeria, but made it clear that it was not part of any movement or group in the country.
“Our first season is set in Africa and we are currently filming our first episode on the Jews of Nigeria. There are many Jews in Nigeria, Igbos included and we are here only to help the local practicing and observing Jewish communities, to provide them with resources, and to document their lives, experiences and aspirations.
“We do not take any position on political movements as we are not here as politicians nor as a part of any governmental delegations,” it stated on Facebook.
Recall that Kanu is charged with treasonable felony, among others, by the federal government.
He is billed to appear at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on July 26 for continuation of his trial.
Meanwhile, the said court will be on annual vacation from that date and our correspondent learnt that it is within the discretion or decision of the trial judge (Justice Binta Nyako) to preside over the case, since the court will be on vacation.