VIDEO: PREMIUM TIMES Publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, opens up on why Police raided the newspaper

From Left: Managing Director, The Quadrant Company, Bolaji Okusaga; Publisher, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi; and Editor-in-Chief, Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed, signing a partnership agreement in Lagos, October 27, 2014
From Left: Managing Director, The Quadrant Company, Bolaji Okusaga; Publisher, Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi; and Editor-in-Chief, Premium Times, Musikilu Mojeed, signing a partnership agreement in Lagos, October 27, 2014

Following the raid on PREMIUM TIMES head office in Abuja and arrest of Publisher, Dapo Oorunyomi, Oak TV in an exclusive examined the circumstances behind this operation.

The Nigerian police had on Thursday evening raided the media outfit’s head office in Abuja, arresting the publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, alongside the paper’s judiciary correspondent, Evelyn Okakwu.

In an exclusive interview with Oak TV at about 11 p.m. that came immediately after being granted bail, Dapo Olorunyomi cited a publication back in December 2016 against Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff as the reason for his arrest.

“Last year in December we had written a story which was sourced from a petition that a civil society organisation in Lagos wrote to the Code of Conduct Bureau. In the petition, the organisation sort explanation why the chief of army staff given the grave allegations around him which bothered on some form of corruption – why he wasn’t being investigated.

“The code of conduct replied that basically, the chief of army staff was busy prosecuting a war and they would rather not interfere with that assignment but that once he was through with the assignment, they would like to call him in regarding the petition – and that’s all we wrote!

“And then of course the army was upset, describing it as a libel … The kind of things that people in power try to do always; and they demanded apology which we weren’t going to offer!

“So today, based on an irresponsible petition, they came and ransacked and arrested Evelyn – our judicial correspondent and myself.

“We got a bail tonight and we are to report 8:00am tomorrow morning,” Mr. Olorunyomi, said.

The paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Musikilu Mojeed, in an assertive manner, condemned the raid.

“They should stop deluding themselves that they can muzzle the press and intimidate PREMIUM TIMES,” said Mr. Mojeed. “They should know that our loyalty lies with our readers and the Nigerian people who have a right to know.”

He said the paper will continue “to discharge its responsibilities in line with global best practices, social responsibility and patriotism, even at great risk to our personal liberties”.

SOURCE: OAK TV


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  • MC

    Good! Go to court with them but note that you’re not fighting a street urchin. Note too that it would be contemptuous to keep disparaging either Bugatai, Nigerian Army or anyone in respect of this legal battle, as you guys always seek to sensationlize issues in order to gain public pity. This no be Dr Gej wey just keep quiet as una dey publish falsehood against am.

    Please tell that your female journalist to cause that color riot hair to get lost and never found. E make am be like runs girl, abi she also dey double as one?

    • tundemash

      If Buratai feels he is being disparaged, he ought to approach the court to get justice and not use the instrument of office. Libel is a civil mater. If Buratai gets disparaged when he’s no more the Army Chief, what would be his course of action ?

      • MC

        Since when has dully warranted arrest and search become a crime? Haba, if Buratai had used soldiers una for dey make sense but na police him use. The law never said ‘don’t arrest before going to court’.

        • tundemash

          Libel is no crime until proven in court and Buratai has no proven that; he can’t be a judge in his own case !

    • Julius

      No buddy, let the army and Gen. Buratai take PT to court. Why raiding and arresting them. The police should have told the army and their Dear Gen. to go to court, sue PT but, na Naija we dey ..abi, nonsense.

      • blueeyedkitten

        let PT take the army to court na? no be dem say their rights was infringed upon?

        • Julius

          There you go again talking backward. Listen, the army and their chief were pissed about what PT wrote….so, who do you think should take who to court ? Think, 1..2..3..4, whats the answer ?

          • blueeyedkitten

            i dont know. why dont you tell me mr einstein?

          • Julius

            lol@mr Einstein…Didn’t I tell you to let uncle Julius know before you post a comment online ? You no dey hia ..lolz

          • blueeyedkitten

            ok sir

          • Julius

            lolz, u dey funny sha but, I hope you are doing well.

      • MC

        Julius long time! How APC? How market? Abeg read my reply to Es3 above.

        • Julius

          lolz me no know how APC dey ooo..I dey busy trying to make a living here in the God’s own country. How u been self..hope all is well with you sir. As to the topic..abeg you yourself know how we operate in Naija. Na big man dey call the shot..the police should have simply told the army, get your lawyers, write PT a legal letter and sue them. Right ? Can you imagine an army Gen in the U S sending the police to go and raid the NYTimes office because they have some info ? Never !!.. You know better bro.

          • MC

            Okay na. Make Pt sue Buratai na if dem feel bad.

          • Julius

            Maybe they should.

    • Es3

      So why didn’t Buratai and the Army go to court over PT publications instead of the this Buhari/APC government outdated, despotic muscling tactics?!

      • MC

        Eh, there could have been a suspicion of Pt harbouring unlawful exhibit etc. Did Buratai use the army to arrest them? Nah! Did the police obtain proper arrest and search warrant? Yep! So what is all theservices insinuation of intimidation and use of power on Pt staff for? It’s all sensationalism after all the ‘ police is your friend’ and Pt is not above arrest simply because it’s a newspaper!

        • Es3

          Suspicion that would not allow them to follow the processes established by the law, then what is the law for???

  • blueeyedkitten

    as always, the media are the saints. i’m not carried away by this.
    let us hear from the other side please.

    • Es3

      Were they not called ‘saints’ during Jonathan’s time. or they are suddenly ‘demons’ now???

      • blueeyedkitten

        youre still talking about jonathan? move on jor!

        • Es3

          Move on ke???

          Unfortunately for you and others like you, it is the heap of lies you told on Jonathan and the mountain of false accusations against him that is haunting Buhari/APC government today!

          To move on, sort that out first!

          • blueeyedkitten

            YOU TOO, MOVE ON!

          • Es3

            Obviously, this is beyond you!

          • blueeyedkitten

            so you say

  • Solomon Brown

    I’m pretty sure you gagged my last comment, no biggie, when there’s nothing to write on, the handwriting appears on walls. Go figure.

  • Patrick Oguejiofor Sr.

    Sad. I am sad because Premium Times, one of my favorite News Media, was one of the ladders that got PMB to the top.