The journalist says he is being haunted for objectively reporting the death of a man killed by a security agent.
A journalist with the National Mirror newspaper, Sebastine Ebhuomhan, has alleged that the Nigerian Army is planning to arrest and detain him perpetually.
Mr. Ebhuomhan, who is also the Edo State Chief Correspondent of National Mirror newspaper, said in a press statement that the Brigade Commander, 4 Brigade of the Nigeria Army, Okwudili Azenta, ordered his arrest because he reported the killing of a man who was voting at the Edo South ward congress of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
The felled man identified as Mattew Adams, was allegedly shot on the head by an unidentified security agent who wore the army uniform.
Mr. Ebhuomhan said since he filed the report about the extrajudicial killing on April 13, he has been haunted by the Nigerian army.
He is, therefore, calling on the Edo State Government, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the general public to take note of the directive to perpetually detain him for carrying out his job as a journalist with a high sense of responsibility.
Read the press statement below:
The Attempt by the Nigeria Army to Arrest Me
Being text of a press statement released by Mr. Sebastine Ebhuomhan, a journalist and Edo State Chief Correspondent of National Mirror newspaper, the publication of Global Mirror Media Limited.
I will like to bring to the notice and attention of the good people and Government of Edo State in particular and Nigeria in general, an attempt being hatched since Sunday, April 13, 2014 by the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigeria Army to arrest and detain me perpetually on the orders of the Brigade Commander.
It has come to my knowledge that the Brigade Commander, 4 Brigade, Nigeria Army, Brigadier-General Okwudili Azenta has given a directive for my arrest and detention at a meeting that was held at the Command Headquarters in Benin City where he expressed his anger over a news report I filed on the death of a man, Matthew Adams, on Saturday 13th April, 2014.
To this end, the Public Relations Officer of the Command actually visited the Press Centre of the Edo State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Benin City on Sunday in search of me.
The late Mr. Adams, who was allegedly shot on his head by a yet-to-be-identified armed security agent in Nigeria Army uniform in the process of peacefully performing his civic responsibilities as a voter at Isiuwa Primary School in Ward 8 of Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State during the rescheduled Edo South ward congress election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), died on the spot.
It was alleged that the yet-to-be-identified male personnel, who drove into the venue of the election in company of other Army personnel in a vehicle marked: “Operation Thunderstorm 028,” used his loaded gun to shoot in an attempt to quell a violent disagreement that marked the election and ended up killing the man that was said to play no part in the violence.
While I dutifully observed every known line of professionalism and ethical journalism in my report on the killing even as I could not reach the command spokesman, I confirmed my information from an anonymous source in the police force, which was one of the security agencies that were brought to maintain security, order and rule of law at the election venue.
My effort seemed not to have gone down well with the 4 Brigade of the Nigeria Army, which authorities in Benin City have since denied the death that two other media organizations also reported the same day but have gone ahead to direct my arrest and detention until I tell them the source of my report that was published by Sunday Mirror on April 13, 2014.
While I am convinced I have done no wrong in reporting this case of another extra-judicial killing, I am by this press release, notifying the Edo State Government, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Journalists and the general public to take note of the directive of the Nigeria Army for my arrest and perpetual detention, especially with regard to anything that may befall me from today.
President Goodluck Jonathan
Senate President, Senator David Mark,
Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal
Governor Adams Oshiomhole
Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, Hon. Uyigue Igbe
Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah
Commander, 4 Brigade of Nigeria Army, Brig-General Okwudili Azenta
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Foluso Adebanjo
Director, Department of State Security, Edo Command, Mr. Tukur Bakori
NUJ President, Alhaji Mohammed Garba.
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