Nigerian journalist on fact-finding mission to Buhari’s London abode threatened and pursued
Posted by News Express | 14 February 2017 | 3,151 times
A Nigerian journalist on fact-finding mission to the Nigerian High Commission in London, where President Muhammadu Buhari is said to be spending his medical vacation, was threatened and pursued by officials and securitymen guarding the premises.
Located in the posh Campden Hill area of the Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in West London, the building, nicknamed Abuja House, is one of the most prominent buildings on the street. Across the road is the home of the High Commissioner of South Africa to the UK.
Buhari, according to Presidency officials, have been residing at the place since he left Nigeria after informing the National Assembly and transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as Acting President on January 19.
The Lagos-based daily The Nation said its London Bureau Chief turned up at the place on Sunday (February 12) met with the Buhari’s cousin, Alhaji Mamman Daura, who visited the President.
Continuing, The Nation said: “At exactly 1.05 pm (London time), two young women believed to be President Buhari’s daughters were driven out of the Abuja House in a black Mercedes Benz car. The vehicle returned at 2.24 pm without its passengers.
“At 1.20 pm, Daura arrived in a London black cab. He was with two others. Daura, who left at about 2.50 pm, declined comments when asked about how the President was getting on. He said; ‘I came here with Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) the other day, didn’t you see it?’
“Shortly after, the serenity of the street was shattered (at about 3.30pm), when five officials – two contracted private security guards and three others, who appeared to be High Commission officials, and a personal aide to the president, came to ask why this reporter was ‘hanging around’.
“He was threatened and told to go away to avoid police invitation. ‘You have to go away with this car from here. You cannot take any photograph here,’ a guard said.
“But this reporter declined because the United Kingdom law does not forbid parking on a public road and taking photographs of private properties from public view.
“Four policemen later arrived at about 3.40 pm, using two vans and two motor bikes.
The policemen were armed. The engagement between this reporter and the policemen turned into a friendly banter – to the embarrassment of the officials who received a lecture from the police that there was no offence in taking photographs of private properties and also parking on a public road where there is no double yellow line.
“But the policemen told this reporter that high commissions get worried when unfamiliar people come around to take photographs and loiter.
“According to them, the Saudi Embassy is particularly not inclined to people coming around it. ‘We do get regular calls like that,’ one of the policemen said.”
•Photo shows the Nigerian High Commission in London, where President Muhammadu Buhari is reportedly spending his medical vacation.