Journalist arrested allegedly on orders of Akwa Ibom deputy governor

moses-ekpo

A newspaper publisher, Nsibiet John, has been arrested in Akwa Ibom State for allegedly publishing defamatory materials against the deputy governor of the state, Moses Ekpo.

The Chairman, League of Newspaper Publishers in the state, Ernest Akpan, told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. John who publishes a local newspaper, The Ink, was arrested on Thursday morning by police detectives from the State Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia.

Mr. Akpan, in a press statement, alleged that the publisher was arrested on the orders of the state deputy governor, Mr. Ekpo.

He said the arrest was “shocking, unacceptable, and unfortunate.”

Mr. Akpan said the deputy governor did not explore “other channels of conflict-resolution” before lodging a complaint with the police against the publisher.

He added that the press in the state would continue to function as a watchdog of the society, no matter the situation.

“A situation where journalists are treated as enemies or prisoners of war and game to be preyed on, during the discharge of their duties, is unacceptable to the League,” Mr. Akpan said.

He called on the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, to step into the matter and ensure that the detained publisher was release.

“We wish to state unequivocally here that failure to secure his release will attract very unpleasant consequences.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council, Patrick Albert, led a delegation of the union and some journalists in the state to the police headquarters, where he met with the Commissioner of Police, Murtala Mani, over the issue.

“They are yet to tell us what offence they say he committed,” Mr. Albert told PREMIUM TIMES on telephone, Thursday evening. “But we have the assurance of the police commissioner that he will be released today.”

By 4p.m., the publisher was still not released. The NUJ chairman and other journalists were still hanging around at the police headquarters.

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the deputy governor’s spokesman, Ekikere Umoh, he declined to comment on the issue which he said was purely a “police matter”.

The Police spokesperson in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, did not respond to calls and text message from our reporter.


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  • Shahokaya

    Is this old man the journalist or the deputy governor?

    • DONALDSON

      the old man aboved is the deputy governor of the state. the worst of it is that he has senior the governor for 45 years. he was a federal commissioner of information in 1972. you can Google it to clear your doubts.

      • Shahokaya

        Thanks for the explaination. He want to die eating government money. Does the have children or other people to nominate for the spare tyre office?

    • PLAN A

      The old man is a product of rigorous political calculations designed to produce a soft unambitious voice behind the Governor and satisfy the political clamoring of a section of the polity,if you know what I mean!

  • justice and equity

    It’s a civil matter, police should hands off the case notwithstanding involvement of the octogenarian deputy Governor. Even if it is criminal defamation of character, the journalist is entitled to bail /

  • westman

    Nigerian politicians are dangerous.
    Leave the journalist alone pls.
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  • An intelligent Uwemedimo

    I almost forgot we had a Deputy Governor in Akwa Ibom state until about yesterday when he attracted undeserved attention to himself.A man who has added no value to the Government of Deacon Udom Emmanuel should not be distracting it. The man is over 90 yrs old and he wants to kill an innocent boy who has done excellently in journalism for some years now.

  • Mufu Ola

    What did the journalist write? Some of these journalists can be extremely incompetent,ignorant, lazy & ill informed.They just go about publishing total nonsense.