Magnus Eze, Enugu
The governor Ebonyi of State, Dave Umahi, has authorised the release of The Sun Newspaper correspondent in Ebonyi State, Chijioke Agwu.
Agwu was whisked away on Saturday while attending a press conference in Government House in Aakaliki. No reason was given for the action.
But in a late-night release issued by Barr Orji Uchenna Orji (Commissioner for Information and State Orientation and acting Commissioner, Human Capital Development and Monitoring), the reporter was said to have been released to rejoin his family. He was to be charged to court for a report on Lassa Fever in Ebonyi State which the government views as offensive.
The release said:
“The Governor of Ebonyi State, His Excellency Engr Chief David Nweze Umahi, in compassionate consideration of the pleas of the leadership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Guild of Editors and Ministry of Information and State Orientation has directed the pardon of the Sun Newspaper correspondent, Mr Chijioke Agwu who was to be charged under Ebonyi State Coronavirus and Other Dangerous (Infectious) Diseases and Related Matters Law (No. 005) 2020 for giving false and damaging reports about Lassa Fever outbreak in Ebonyi State, published in Sun Newspaper of 17th April 2020..
“However, all media operators and correspondents are by this notice warned that Ebonyi State Government will no longer tolerate the damaging stinkers of unverified reports about happenings in Ebonyi State.”