Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
The police have arrested The Sun reporter in Kebbi State, Mr. Olarenwaju Lawal, who was hurriedly taken to court and clamped in custody.
Olarenwaju was arrested on Monday morning by a team of detective on the order of the Acting Commissioner of Police in the state while he was on an official engagement.
His arrest followed an online publication, on Sunday, of the abduction of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, which is believed to have offended some officials of the Kebbi State Government and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
The police had accused the reporter of publishing a false report, adding also that he neither spoke to their spokesperson in the state, DSP Danjuma Poss, nor to any official of the police in the state over the alleged kidnap incident before going to press.
After interrogating the reporter on the said story, the police subsequently arraigned him before a Magistrate’s Court in Birnin-Kebbi, the state capital, where he was charged with a one-count charge of disseminating wrongful information.
Olarenwaju, who was taken to court without a legal representative, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was remanded in prison till next Monday, after the police had sought for a week to enable them conclude their investigation.
A security personnel, who is familiar with the case, indicated that the Kebbi State government and the ruling APC may have instigated the arrest and prosecution of the journalist.
All efforts to get the understanding of the police in the state and headquarters failed, as officers contacted were evasive.