Police Arrest Another Journalist In Abuja

The Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Global-upfront Newspaper (Online), Madu Onuorah, has been whisked away by operatives of the Nigerian Police Force.

Reports obtained by Melody news revealed that the incident occurred at around 6 pm on Wednesday when approximately ten armed policemen arrived at his residence in Lugbe, Abuja, using two Sienna buses.

During the arrest, Onuorah’s wife and children were present and questioned the police about the reason behind their actions, but their inquiries reportedly went unanswered.

The police allegedly confiscated Onuorah’s phones, effectively isolating him from any form of communication, including contact with his family.

Prior to being taken away by the stern-looking operatives to the Lugbe police station, Mr. Onuorah was denied the opportunity to reach out to his lawyer or any of his relatives. The arresting policemen, who were not from the Lugbe Police Station, deliberately left no trace of their whereabouts, making it difficult for friends and family to locate them.

In response to the arrest, the management of Globalupfront Newspapers demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Madu Onuorah. They emphasized that Mr. Onuorah, with his extensive experience in reputable newspapers such as The Guardian Newspaper and The AUTHORITY Newspaper, has always operated within the boundaries of the law.

“Anybody who has any issue against Onuorah should approach the law court and not turn the Nigerian Police into a Gestapo outfit that bullies a man in the presence of his wife and children,” the newspapers said in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Abuja.

“That any second Mr Onuorah spends in police custody constitutes a serious infringement against his fundamental rights and a continuation of the assault on freedom of expression that has become a frequent occurrence in Nigeria recently,” the paper noted.

Barely two weeks ago, a journalist with the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Daniel Ojukwu, was released after he was arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police.

Melody News recalls that Ojukwu was secretly abducted by the police in Lagos on Wednesday, May 1 and transferred to Abuja about three days later.

Ojukwu, who was in detention for nine days before being given access to his phones, was declared missing after his family, the journalist, and FIJ management were unaware of his whereabouts until 48 hours.

It was gathered that Ojukwu was released on Friday, a day after a coalition of civil society groups and a human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, staged a protest at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to demand his release.

Previously, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of operations, DIG Ayuba Ede, revealed that Ojukwu’s release was at the discretion of the Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun.

During a closed-door meeting with a PUNCH Newspaper correspondent, Abiodun Sanusi, and a member of the Take It Back Movement, Oshioks Phillip, at the Force Headquarters on Thursday, Ede promised to submit the protesters’ demand to Egbetokun and the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the FCID, Abiodun Alabi.

He said while the details of the petition and the ongoing police investigation needed to be reviewed, the IGP would make the final decision on journalist Ojukwu’s release at his discretion.

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