The Ebonyi State Police Command, Saturday afternoon, arrested the Ebonyi State correspondent of The Sun newspapers on the order of Governor David Umahi.
The reporter, who attended a press conference at the Government House, was whisked away by the Chief Security Officer to the governor, at the instance of the governor and later handed over to the state’s Commissioner of Police (CP). The reporter is still being held by the police, which, it was learnt, have been instructed by the governor to charge him to court.
Head of The Sun South East Bureau, Magnus Eze, said in a text message to The Sun Management: “I have just been informed that Ebonyi Gov, David Umahi has ordered the arrest and prosecution of The Sun newspapers state correspondent, Chijioke Agwu, while he attended a press invitation at the Govt House. I was told that their grouse was a feature story on Lassa fever endemic in Ebonyi which centred mainly on NCDC statistics published in Daily Sun of Friday, April 17, 2020.”
Since the arrest of the reporter, the police have barred access to him.
In its reaction, the Management of The Sun condemned the reporter’s arrest for doing his job.
“It is wrong to arrest a reporter for doing his job. Our correspondent was arrested as if he was a common criminal while doing his legitimate duty. It is unfortunate a governor can make such an order and a Commissioner of Police acted on it.”
It was gathered that Governor Umahi has the penchant for harassing journalists. Sources say any time report on an an in the state is published, the governor sometimes personally harasses and threatens reporters.
According to a source, “the governor does not want any report on the failure of his government reported by the media. When there is a communal clash, robbery, killings in the state, and they are reported, he gets offended. These things are replete in the state and it is the duty of the media to report them.”
Police authorities in Ebonyi State are yet to say anything regarding the reporter’s arrest at the time of filing this report.