Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Ebonyi State Police Command arrested the Vanguard correspondent in the state, Mr Peter Okutu, on Tuesday over a report he filed about the military invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.
Okutu was arrested by SARS operatives at Woodberry Hotel, Abakaliki on the orders of the Ohaukwu Local Government Council Chairman, Mr Clement Odah.
Before his arrest, it was gathered that Okutu was earlier invited by the Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mr Francis Nwaze, over the report, who, it was alleged, later asked him to meet with the council chairman to brief him on the truth about the incident.
Okutu was later contacted through his mobile phone by Mr Odah, who asked him to meet him at Woodberry Hotel, where he was arrested by security operatives.
Okutu, who believed he would be briefed by the council on the situation in Ohaukwu, was accompanied by The PUNCH newspapers correspondent in the state, Mr Edward Nnachi, who was equally interested in the story, to see the council chairman.
At the hotel, it was gathered that Mr Odah had queried Okutu on the sources of his report and while he was still explaining to him, four SARS men emerged from within the hotel premises and rounded him up.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi State, Awosola Awotinde, said he was unaware of the arrest, but promised to find out details
Okutu’s arrest came barely three days after The Sun newspapers correspondent in the state, Mr Chijioke Agwu, was arrested and later released over a feature story on Lassa Fever in the state.