April 21, 2020

Ebonyi LG chair orders arrest of Vanguard reporter

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

The Police in Ebonyi State have arrested Vanguard Correspondent, Mr. Peter Okutu, on the orders of a local government chairman.

The arrest was over a report Okutu did about military invasion of Umuogodoakpu-Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

Okutu was arrested by armed men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, at Woodberry Hotel, Abakaliki, on the orders of the Ohaukwu Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Clement Odah.

Before his arrest, the Vanguard reporter, Okutu was invited by the Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mr. Francis Nwaze, over the report.

The governor’s aide later asked Okutu to meet with Mr. Odah, the Council Chairman, to brief him on the true situation of the incident.

Okutu was later contacted through his mobile phone by Mr. Odah, who asked him to meet him(Odah) at Woodberry Hotel, where he was arrested by waiting security operatives.

Okutu, who had envisaged danger, went with a colleague from another national daily, to see the Council Chairman.

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At the hotel, it was gathered that Mr. Odah had queried Okutu, the Vanguard reporter, on the sources of his report and while he was still explaining to him, four SARS operatives emerged from within the hotel premises and took him away in a waiting Hilux van.

This is coming three days after The Sun newspaper reporter, Agwu Chijioke, was arrested by the Police on the orders of the state governor, David Umahi, following a report he did about Lassa fever outbreak in the state.

Agwu was later released.

Contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Awosola Awotinde, said he was not yet aware of the arrest, but promised to investiagate.