Some police officers have arrested a popular broadcast journalist in Imo State, south-east Nigeria.
The journalist, Chinonso Uba, otherwise known as Nonso Nkwa, was whisked away on Thursday by the officers after he finished anchoring his morning programme on Ozisa FM, a radio station in Owerri, the state capital.
Ozisa FM, where the journalist works, is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Owerri.
The station is within the premises of Assumpta Cathedral of the diocese.
Mr Uba was said to be driving out of the cathedral in his Highlander SUV when the officers, who reportedly laid an ambush, double-crossed him at a junction in the state and arrested him.
Sources told PREMIUM TIMES that the officers – who operated in a Toyota Hilux truck, Lexus SUV, and ES 330 saloon car – forced the journalist into one of their vehicles and zoomed off, abandoning the journalist’s SUV.
The journalist was said to have initially resisted arrest, expressing fears that he might be killed by the officers.
The officers reportedly prevented passers-by from recording the incident, it was learnt.
The Manager of Ozisa FM, Raymond Nzereogu, confirmed the arrest of the journalist to reporters in Owerri.
Mr Nzereogu, a Catholic priest, said he visited police headquarters in the state and saw the journalist in the custody of the police.
When contacted on Friday morning, the police spokesperson in Imo State, Henry Okoye, confirmed the arrest of the journalist to PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Okoye, an assistant superintendent of police, said he was arrested by police operatives from the Criminal Investigation Department of the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The police spokesperson said he was unaware of the offence committed by the journalist that informed his arrest by the officers.
He promised to contact the Force Headquarters and revert later with details of the journalist’s offence.
Uba, the arrested journalist, at a glance
Mr Uba contested in the 2023 House of Representatives election for Mbaitoli/Ikeduru Federal Constituency on the platform of the African Democratic Congress but lost to Akarachi Amadi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The journalist, who is also an activist, has been critical of the administration of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.
Mr Uzodinma is a member of the APC, under which he is seeking reelection in the forthcoming 11 November governorship in the state.
Mr Uba, after losing in the House of Representatives election, continued working as a journalist but became even more critical of the governor’s policies, it was learnt.
Some reportedly warned him of his media colleagues to choose between journalism and politics, but he ignored the warning.
It is not clear, for now, if he was arrested in connection with any of his remarks against the governor and his policies.
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