Three Israelis who came into Nigeria on July 6 to shoot a documentary tagged ‘We Were Never Lost,’ are said to be in the custody of the Department of State Services(DSS) after being arrested.
They were reportedly apprehended over suspicion that they had come into contact with the proscribed 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.
A family member to one of them confirmed their 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 have contacted the Nigerian government.
The trio were detained by DSS operatives at a church during Friday night service in Ogidi village, headquarters of Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra, before being taken to Abuja.
‘We Were Never Lost’ is a documentary series trying to reconnect Jewish communities around the world.
On July 8, the ‘We Were Never Lost’ documentary, on its Facebook page 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.
In 2018, Kanu gave a radio broadcast saying he was in Israel and indicating he owed his survival to the Jewish state.
The IPOB leader is charged with treasonable felony, among others, by the Federal Government.
He is billed to appear at a Federal High Court in Abuja, on July 26 for continuation of his trial.