Niger state govt. alleges arrested NTA reporter demanded bribe

The government of Niger state on Monday provided what it says were text message exchanges between it and Fejiro Oliver, the journalist declared missing since Friday and eventually paraded by the State Security Service, SSS in Minna on Monday.

The text messages as provided by the Niger State government detailed a conversation between Mr. Oliver  and an official of the Niger state government. The Niger government is alleging the reporter tried to blackmail its officials over a story about Governor Muazu Aliyu.

The spokesperson of Mr. Aliyu, Israel Ebije, told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Oliver, whose real name is Tega Oghenedoro, is actually a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority in Asaba Delta state.

“Agreed reporters at times use pen names, but not in this case whereby this man was just using mushroom online platforms to blackmail innocent Nigerians,” he said

When pressed for concrete evidence that the journalist actually demanded bribe, Mr. Ebije forwarded to us what he claimed were text messages exchanged between Mr. Oghenedoro and the Secretary to Government of Niger State, Saidu Ndako

The Chief Press Secretary to Mr. Muazu said after it became clear that the journalist was out to blackmail officials of the state government, he issued a statement warning him to refrain from his actions or be exposed.

“I even put out a caveat to him through his so-called secret reporters warning him of the consequences of his actions, but because he is greedy he still insisted

“We are already aware that the documents he claimed to have were given to him by an aggrieved government official, Iliyasu Dhako, who I have on tape confessing and apologising for his action,” he said.

He also said when the SSG reported the matter to the State Security Service in Minna, they set up a trap for Mr. Oghenedoro “and he greedily fell into it” .

He said most of the communication the SSG had with the journalist was under the guidance of the SSS “just to prove that he was out to extort money” Mr. Ebije said.

Below is the full transcript of the text messages exchanged between the reporter and the SSG sequel to his arrival in Abuja after which he was arrested by the SSS at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

Find the alleged text exchange between Tega Samuel Oghenedoro alias Fejiro Oliver and the Niger SSG below

Ndako: We are working out the possibility of beating the 9.30 am deadline to get the ticket out, your coming will be late evening and weekend, please tell me what to do next because I want an end to this issue and possible retrieval of all the documents. Regards

Fejiro: Sir, as long as Israel is out of the issue, we can manage everything successfully. I have gotten the receipt (sic) of the ticket and will be in Abuja tomorrow.

Ndako: Just trying to get prepared for we shall be looking at because of weekend.

Fejiro: SSG Sir, we can discuss everything when I come in tomorrow but you can count on me that it will be fruitful

Ndako: So how do we meet, where and when. need airport pickup?

Fejiro: Good Morning Sir, when the plane is set to fly, I will inform you. My staff in Abuja will be at the airport to pick me. Hotel accommodation for the 3 days is what is left and that can be done when I’m in Abuja.

Ndako: Okay no problem. Call me when you are in town

Fejiro: My flight is leaving now Sir

Meanwhile, the Daily Trust newspaper on Tuesday reported that the Niger State command of the SSS on Monday paraded Mr. Oghenedoro, for demanding N50 million from the state government to as a condition for dropping a story on alleged fraudulent activities within the government.

While parading the suspect before journalists, the state director, of the SSS, Larry Obiagwu, said Mr. Oghenedoro was arrested by his men at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja while on his way to Minna to collect the said amount.

However, a close ally of the journalist and human rights activist, Inibehe Effiong, who had been spearheading the campaign to find out the whereabouts of the journalist said on Tuesday that the Niger state government lied against the reporter

In a post on his Facebook timeline, Mr. Effiong said “We have heard from Fejiro Oliver directly. He says he appreciates our efforts and urged us to continue with the campaign to free him, that he is fine. As for
the information making round, we will respond appropriately. The attempt to paint Fejiro in bad light will fail. We are going to respond to all the issues raised. Now that I have heard from him I am more confident to fight on”.


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  • Otile

    Something is fishy here. If a person is suspected of going to eat bribe from the govt, you can catch him red-handed and the world will believe you. You mark the money, snap photos or video him in the act. You don’t arrest him at the airport or hundreds of miles away from the govt house with no credible evidence of him taking any bribe. Even if he was traveling to Minna to commit murder the SSS would prudently watch him get to the supposed crime scene before arresting him. I am glad they have not given him Dele Giwa treatment yet. Who knows what they are trying to cover up?

    • Pikolo

      The Niger state governemt is only trying to divert the main issue.That is the corruption by the state governmet.There is nothing incriminating about the text messages that is if they are indeed genuine.
      This issue is a set up.The reporter is just framed with concorted allegations which will not stand the litmus of truth.

  • amazing2012

    What you quoted the journalist did not indicates collecting of money from anybody but a normal discussion of someone coming for work, nor in the discussion describe retrieving of documents, or accusation of anything. So where did you get your facts!
    Now if the journalist is accussed of bribe what of the issue of which he demand the bribe ? Is that issue also nullify because he look for bribe. The journalist should be tried if found guilty and the case confirm if is genuine to prosecute those found guilty on the offense the journalist want to use to make his bribe.

    • Matomato

      The man is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Instead he was arrested and locked up without giving him access to inform his family / lawyer of his whereabout. I think he should sue the government.

  • dele

    Now they make people disappear whom they don’t like….. Same thing with the governor of katsine state

    • Shaibu Ocheme

      Mr Oghenedoro was trying to emulate the number one pseudo-journalist blackmailers in Nigeria. Sowore and his saharareporters crew and Dapo Olorunyomi and his Premium times crew. Why do you guys blame Oghenedoro don’t you want him to ‘clean out’ of ‘jeun soke’ from Muazu Aliyu, in the same manner Dapo Olorunyomi and Sowore are settling themselves from politicians like Senator Babafemi Ojodu and Nasir El Rufai?

      • dele

        So why not charge him to court rather than kidnapping and locking him up? are we back in abacha days now?

        • Shaibu Ocheme

          When you charge him to court, the magistrate or judge is equally waiting there to collect their own egunje. From whichever side decides to ‘play ball’. If the government side wants a conviction by all means, they must play ball with the judge or magistrate. If on the other hand, the accused journalist wants to go free by all means, he too must play ball by dishing out egunje to police investigators and members of the judiciary. Such is the rotten state of affairs my brother. So just leave Abacha to rest ‘peacefully’ in his grave.

      • Swagger

        So your comparison means Saharareporters blackmailed Ojodu to get paid while Premium Times did same to El Rufai. But I’ve never read Sahara hitting Ojodu neither has Premium Times really tackled El Rufai at anytime. Why don’t you try better when next you want to blackmail. There’s no limit to personal idiocy, that I know…

        • Shaibu Ocheme

          For you to be so abusive…idiocy (sic), you must assume that you are the smartest kid on the block. Well I will just ignore the unwarranted abuse and spend a few moments to educate you. If you understand the art of blackmail, the way it works is that the pseudo journalist blackmailer never ‘hits'(sic) to use your own words, those who succumb to his threats, usually issued in private. In other words, once the guys or madams the pseudo journalist blackmailer wants to obtain money from agrees to play ball and releases egunje (cash) to the blackmailers, the unscrupulous pseudo journalist keeps his own side of the deal by killing every bad news related to the guy or madam paying the egunje. And this quid pro quo arrangement goes on, so long as the egunje keeps flowing from the politicians like El Rufai or Babafemi Ojodu, they would never be ‘hit’ by Saharareporters or Premium times and they would keep ‘smelling of roses’ despite all their stealing of government funds and other similar indiscretions which they like almost all Nigerian politicians engage in. This is the truth and it underlines the rot in the Nigerian system which the media is not immune from. You can take the above narrative to the bank for it is truly reflective of the state of the Nigerian media. Otherwise, ask Sowore and Dapo to publicly publish their audited statement of accounts to reveal to the world the sources of income of their online media organisations or don’t we the public deserve to know those details about our highly ‘esteemed public critics’?

          • umunnem

            @Shaibu, why don’t you set up your own on Blog and “hit” Senator Ojudu and El-Rufai so that they would stop “smelling of roses” but “smell of cow dung”? You can also extend your blogging and “exposure of corruption” to “almost all Nigerian politicians”. How about that? Funding? “Hit” some of the politicians and make money from those who succumb.

          • Shaibu Ocheme

            @Umunnem, while I understand that life is very tough, rough and brutish back home, we must not all become blackmailers like Dapo and Sowore, simply because we are desperate to earn a living. There are others ways to earn a living to satisfy our needs, but not enough to feed our greed unfortunately.

  • Rommel

    How would he have taken the said 50 mila,is it in Ghana must go sacs?

  • Uncle Garry (Atlanta)

    Human rights and civil rights groups are as dead as dodo for the love of money.
    The love of money – by bribe, theft or extortion – has spanned the roots of evils.
    Journalism is rapidly going to the dogs in Nigeria. There are no bounds or ethics.
    As the 4th estate in Nigeria crumbles, so do the three other estates above it fall.
    The net effect is that Nigeria spins out of control straight into blood-letting violence.

    • Shaibu Ocheme

      Excellent comments.

  • PK

    Now the world can clerly see the kind of men we put in power. How on earth did the quoted discussion imply a request for bribe? The Niger state governor would regret this ungodly act of cover up and blackmail at the end of the day. Fejiro, dont worry, we believe in you

  • Don Maria Puzo

    I thought the text messages were incriminating. This is total nonsense, when and where did he demand 20M? Or shouldn’t that appear in the text message. Tyrants in civilian uniforms.

  • mr t

    i thought that our concise will judge us and before getting to God why are we not ready to change, calling black white and white black, our future at getting it quick or hammering will finish this young men

  • King Carlos

    So if not for the fact that premium times reported the issue, that’s how the reporter would have been missing forever, how come the SSS didn’t go public and notify his family the moment they nabbed him?

  • Roland (Journalist)

    I prefer to await the SSS’ statement on the arrest of this journalist.
    The SSS could not have acted only on this innocuous text exchange.
    An improper suggestion of assistance for welfare is evident in the texts,
    but that improper suggestion is not extortion to justify the SSS arrest.
    To ground a charge of extortion there would have to be direct evidence.
    The SSS may not wish to release that yet yet for investigation purposes.

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    Most of what Tope Fasua wrote is true. Unlimited fast and qualitative internet service is now the in-thing in the world, but not in Nigeria. What we are given is about the poorest in terms of speed and quality of signals, yet at very very high prices. Just as Tope said, for you to truely do an online business that requires internet connection at the present cost in Nigeria, you will need in the range of N24,000 to N36,000 monthly if you are required to stay connected for say 6-8 Hours daily. The network services are all the same, lying to you of what they are providing. What amazes me is that their speed is of low quality, mainly good only for the social media and online newspapers. When you begin to connect to high speed platforms and APPS, there are break downs in signals, taking you in and out of transactions that you have no business breaking from, and sometimes costing so much money. This is why many Nigerians are now moving into neighboring countries to do such businesses as our internet services are very very poor. These ISPs will not admit this but that is the truth. We are being ripped off simply because the regulators don’t take care. Now that we have new government in place, let’s see how they handle this complaint. The NCC is simply not there. Nigerians have been continuously ripped off by these ISPs, and this must stop.

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