Posted by News Express | 30 March 2014 | 2,933 times
Abia State Governor Theodore Orji and the Nigeria Police have bowed to pressure and freed Associate Editor of The Sun newspapers, Mr. Ebere Wabara, after detaining him for two days. “Wabara has been granted police bail,” a reliable source at The Sun told News Express this morning. “He was released at about 10:15pm on Saturday sequel to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar. The Correspondent of The Sun in Abia State, Chuks Onuoha, took Wabara’s bail. Wabara was told to report to the office of the Commissioner of Police in Umuahia, Abia State on Monday at 10am,” the source added.
Wabara’s ordeal began on Friday when he was whisked away from his Lagos residence in South-West Nigeria and taken to his home state Abia in the South-East on the orders of Governor Orji over an uncomplimentary article in The Sun, where Wabara maintains a weekly column. The popular tabloid is published by Governor Orji’s immediate predecessor and estranged political godfather, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu.
Giving details of what happened, The Sun Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Femi Adesina, had said in a statement issued Friday night in Lagos:
“Policemen from the Abia State Command yesterday stormed the Surulere, Lagos residence of Mr. Ebere Wabara, The Sun Associate Editor and Special Assistant, Media to Dr. Uzor Orji Kalu, and whisked him away.
“The incident happened between 6.30 and 7a.m in the presence of Wabara’s wife and underaged children.
“The invading police from the State CID, Umuahia, had identified themselves to Wabara, and told him that some unnamed person had written a petition against him in Abia State. He was, therefore, asked to follow them to the state, where he would be charged with sedition.
“First, Wabara was taken to Sholoki Police Station in Aguda, Surulere, and later to Oyingbo police station, also in Lagos.
“Speaking on how the abduction drama unfolded, Adanna Wabara, a mother of two kids aged eight and six years, respectively, said between 6.30 and 7.00a.m, her husband had gone downstairs to take something from his car.
“ ‘Shortly after, I heard him shouting, and I ran downstairs. I saw between seven and eight men, who said they were policemen. They said he needed to follow them to Umuahia, that there was a petition against him for sedition.
“ ‘They took us back into the house, one of them brought out an I.D Card, showing that he was a policeman. They requested to search our bedroom. They did, and collected my husband’s laptop and telephone.
“ ‘I followed as they took him to Sholoki Police Station, but later, I had to take the children to school. By the time I returned, they had moved him away. His phones could not be reached, and he had not eaten. Now, we are deeply traumatized, the entire family.’
“The Sun Publishing Limited sees the abduction of Mr Wabara obviously on the orders of the Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adamu Ibrahim, and perhaps under the further instruction of the state governor, Chief T. A. Orji, as a throwback to the dark days of military dictatorship, when might was right, and the strong trampled on the weak.
“It is unconscionable, repressive and flies in the face of all that is decent and civil. It has all the trappings of autocracy, rather than democracy.
“If Mr Wabara infringed any law, we would have expected the police to invite him to answer questions, and then charge him to court. The approach that has been adopted is Gestapo-like, and unbecoming of those who instigated it.
“Those entrusted with the upholding of the law are not expected to trample on others. This is what the policemen from Abia State have done, and it runs contrary to the code of conduct for policemen as espoused by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar.
“When The Sun contacted the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Frank Mba, he made quality efforts to resolve the matter, urging that Mr Wabara’s statement be taken in Lagos, and that he be given the opportunity to thereafter report in Umuahia. But apparently, the invaders from Abia had another design, obviously to keep him in detention over the weekend. It is simply despicable.”
•Photo shows Ebere Wabara.
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