Makurdi— Benue Police Command, Wednesday, raided the house of Mr. Henry Ibya, a Makurdi-based journalist, taking away his wife, child and 60-year old uncle over a story on Governor Gabriel Suswam’s wife, published in Wednesday’s edition of the Western Premier newspaper.
The story chronicled how the governor’s wife allegedly misappropriated N100 million meant for the celebration of an occasion tagged Celebrating the Benue woman.
It was learnt that the publication set the journalist on a collision path with the government, which ordered his arrest and prosecution.
Family sources said Ibya’s house was raided at 9pm on Wednesday. They said the police came in two vehicles and whisked away the journalist’s family members.
Journalists in Makurdi expressed dismay at the arrest of their colleague’s wife, saying it was wrong to visit the sins of a person on another.
They said the action was capable of severing the relationship between the police and the media in the state.
The police, however, denied detaining the journalist’s wife, child and elderly uncle. They explained that the woman was invited for questioning but was never put in the cell. Mr. Anthony Njoku, Assistant Commissioner of Police, CID, told journalists that the police only invited the woman for questioning and never detained her.
He said the woman had been released together with the child and uncle.
He, however, appealed to journalists to prevail on the fleeing journalist to report himself to the police to answer charges of publishing a vexatious item about the governor’s wife.