Journalist alleges threat to life by Kogi governor’s aide

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello [Photo Credit: The News Nigeria]

A Lagos-based journalist with the Daily Post online newspaper, Wale Odunsi, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over alleged threat to his life by an official of the Kogi State government.

Mr Odunsi, the newspaper’s Deputy Editor, stated in the petition dated April 9 that Edward Onoja, the Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, had threatened to kill him.

According to the journalist, he received a phone call from Mr Onoja at exactly 10:39 a.m. on April 8 and the caller complained about a story the newspaper published about him and insisted it was false.

“I politely told him to write to our management to formally complain.​ ​But he dismissed my advice,” Mr Odunsi stated in his petition.

“He claimed the story was a hatchet job but I quickly replied him that some other media houses ​- including The Punch and Guardian Newspapers – ​reported similar story.​

“Mr Onoja continued to speak in harsh tones and told me point blank that he would order (a) hit on me. I asked if he was threatening me and he said ‘Yes, mark my words. I will kill you’.

“He went on to say ‘Anywhere I see you, I will tear you apart’. These are weighty statements which any reasonable person must not take lightly.

“I am writing to you to please use your good office to investigate this threat before my life is cut short. Even though I believe God Almighty gives and take life, a direct and unequivocal statement such as Mr. Onoja’s should not be swept under the carpet.”

PREMIUM TIMES checks showed that at least, two newspapers – The Guardian and Punch – also reported an accident involving Mr Onoja, quoting Taufiq Isa, the Chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, as making the disclosure during a prayer session on Friday.

The prayer session was organised for the quick recovery of Governor Bello who, a week earlier, fell off while alighting from his car and injured his foot.

Mr Onoja did not respond to phone calls or a text message sent to him.

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