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Madu Onuorah, the publisher of the Global Upfront Newspaper.

23.05.2024 Featured Another Nigerian Journalist Abducted by Armed Policemen

Published 23rd May, 2024

By Abimbola Abatta

Officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have abducted Madu Onuorah, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Global Upfront Newspaper, in Abuja.

According to the statement released on Thursday by the management of the online news platform, about 10 armed police officers invaded Onuorah’s home in Lugbe around 6 pm on Wednesday and whisked him away in the presence of his wife and children.

The police officers, who went away with the publisher in two Sienna buses, neither provided a warrant for his arrest nor disclosed his offence.

READ ALSO: Police Abduct FIJ Reporter Daniel Ojukwu ‘On IGP’s Orders’

“He was not even allowed to contact his lawyer or any of his relations before he was whisked away to the Lugbe police station by the stern-looking operatives,” the statement reads in part.

“To make sure Mr. Onuorah did not get attention or bail, the policemen who arrested him, though not of the Lugbe Police Station, simply dumped him at the station and left no traces for friends and family members to reach them.”

The management of Global Upfront Newspapers is demanding the immediate release of the publisher, stating that anybody who has any issues against him should approach the law court.

READ ALSO: INTERVIEW: Cuffed, Blindfolded… How Nigerian Editor Landed in Underground Military Cell Over Story Linking Gbajabiamila to $30b Loot

“Any second Onuorah spends in police custody constitutes a serious infringement against his fundamental rights and a continuation of the assault on freedom of expression that has become a frequent occurrence in Nigeria recently,” the statement added.

The abduction of Onuorah marks yet another violation of press freedom by the police. On May 1, police officers abducted Daniel Ojukwu, an FIJ reporter, seized his phones and denied him access to communicate with family and friends.

It wasn’t until the third day, May 3, that FIJ and Ojukwu’s family learned that he was being held at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) in Panti, Lagos.

He would then be moved to the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC) in Abuja on May 5 and later to the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) that same day. The police did not release Ojukwu on bail until May 10.

Ojukwu’s offence was his report on how Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP-SDGs) to the President, sent N147.1 million of government funds to an account linked to Enseno Global Ventures (Enseno GV), an Abuja-based restaurant, for the construction of a classroom.

Similarly, the NPF-NCCC invited Nurudeen Yahaya Akewushola, a reporter with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), last week, following a report detailing how past police bosses used their offices for official corruption.

The cybercrime centre also invited the “managing directors” of the media platform, accusing them of cyberstalking.

March saw the kidnapping of FirstNews general editor Segun Olatunji by armed soldiers, who detained him for two weeks in an underground cell over a report that implicated Femi Gbajabiamila, the President’s Chief of Staff (Cos), in corruption. Following FirstNews’ apology to Gbajabiamila, the editor tendered his resignation.

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Published 23rd May, 2024

By Abimbola Abatta

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