– By Chris Otaigbe
The Zonal Office of the Nigeria Police, Zone 2, Onikan, has released a reporter with MMS Plus Newspaper, Yusuf Odejobi, after his arrest following a story on possible take-over of Dangote refinery by AMCON over allegation of increasing debts, published by the Newspaper.
The Police has, however, invited the Editor of the Paper, Kenneth Jukpor to visit the Command over the same report. Four armed policemen early on Tuesday invaded the headquarters of Kings Communications Limited, publishers of MMS Plus newspaper in an attempt to accost the editorial staff over the story.
In a statement, the Editor, Jukpor, accused the Dangote Group Spokesman, Anthony Chiejina for instigating the arrest over the publication. According to Jukpor, the Dangote Spokesman said had threatened to deal with the leadership of the media outfit for publishing a news story titled, “AMCON May Take Over Dangote Refinery As Liabilities Swell”.
Part of the statement reads, “When attempt to find the Editor-in-Chief of MMS Plus, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke and the Editor of MMS Plus, Mr. Kenneth Jukpor were futile the armed Policemen arrested Mr Odejobi, a Reporter with MMS plus.
“Odejobi who was handcuffed and bundled into the police vehicle: A Blue Ford Ranger’. While in the vehicle heading to the police station, the police officers threatened to use him as a litmus test or scapegoat. He was later taken to the Zonal CID, Zone 2 Command, Onikan where he said the Police paraded him like a criminal taking him from one office to another in handcuffs from 12noon to 5:30pm.
“According to Odejobi, there were four officers; two from Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), a legal officer and a man who claimed to work with Dangote Group.
“They asked for my personal details such as house address, family’s contacts, work history, among others. They reminded me that they could also come to my house if they didn’t meet anyone at the office any time they come again”
“I was told to write a statement and they handed me a Letter of Invitation for the Publisher of MMS Plus newspaper. When they came in the morning they had said they wanted to submit this letter of invitation for the CEO and I wondered why they couldn’t just drop the letter and leave.
“While insisting on seeing the CEO, they got angry when news stories started coming out that they raided our office. They however allowed me to go at about 5:30pm based on “Self Righteousness” after collecting N500 which was said to be for capturing,” Odejobi stated while narrating his ordeal”
Observers who are concerned over the development said the organisation should have written a rejoinder to the Newspaper or go to court rather than resort to making arrests.
Our attempt to get the side of Dangote’s spokesman, Chiejina, failed as he did not respond to our telephone call.