The Benue Police Command is on the pursuit of a Makurdi-based journalist, Henry Ibya, following a story in which he accused Dooshima Suswan, the wife of the state governor, of duping the state of N100m.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the police raided Mr. Ibya’s home on Wednesday and arrested his wife, child, and 60-year old uncle when the journalist was not found.
Mr. Ibya’s story, titled ‘How Gov. Suswam’s wife duped Benue of N100 million’ was published in the Wednesday’s edition of the Western Premier newspaper. The story chronicled how the governor’s wife allegedly misappropriated the sum of N100 million meant for the ‘Celebrating the Benue woman’ project.
Family sources told NAN that Mr. Ibya’s house was raided at about 9 p.m. on Wednesday while he had yet to return. They said the police came in two vehicles and whisked away the family members.
A cross-section of journalists in Makurdi expressed dismay at the arrest of their colleague’s wife, saying that it was wrong to visit the sins of a person on another.
They said that the action was capable of severing the relationship between the police and the media in the state.
Anthony Njoku, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, however denied detaining the journalist’s wife, child and elderly uncle saying the police only invited the woman for questioning and did not detain her. Mr. Njoku said the woman had been released together with the child and uncle.
He however appealed to journalists to prevail on the fleeing journalist to report himself to the police to answer charges of publishing a vexatious item about the governor’s wife.
Mr. Ibya had earlier written a story on the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Cletus Akwaya, titled ‘Sex rocks Suswam’s administration’, which also pitted him against the government.