By Gabriel Enogholease & Ozioruva Aliu
THREE journalists, namely Deborah Coker of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, Sunny Inarumen of African Independent Television, AIT, and Osamuyi Ogbomo, a Cameraman with Independent Television, ITV, were, yesterday, arrested by a combined team of the vigilante group in Edo State and the police for covering a factional primary election organized by a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, believed to be loyal to the Vice Chairman, South-South, Dan Orbih in Edo South senatorial district.
Faction of the Orbih’s delegates held its primary election at an event centre by the Airport gate while Obaseki’s delegates held theirs at Ogbemudia stadium.
The journalists were taken to Oko Central police station, detained for hours and released after their statements were taken.
Inarumen, said: “We were in the venue of the primary election when armed men entered the place and started shooting and forced us into their vehicle and drove us to the police station. They were asking us why we went to cover an illegal gathering.”
Corroborating the story, Coker said they were arrested by a combined team of Edo Security Network, men of the State Vigilante and Police.
“Even after we told them that we were journalists carrying our constitutional duty, they insisted that we were providing coverage for an illegal primary that was why they took us to Oko Police station.”
In the melee, the chairman of Ward Five Oredo PDP, Tunde Igbinoba was shot and his condition cannot be ascertained at press time, while several vehicles were destroyed.
Meanwhile, at the indoor sports hall of the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium where Obaseki’s delegates of the PDP converged, the former Majority leader of Edo State House of Assembly, Matthew Iduoriyekenmwen emerged as the candidate defeating the incumbent Senator Mathew Uroghide. While Hon Omoregie Ogbeide-Ihama emerged the candidate at the Dan Orbih led delegates.
In Edo Central senatorial district, former Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, picked the PDP ticket for the Orbih faction while Sen Clifford Ordia, the two term incumbent senator emerged in the Obaseki’s led faction.
In Edo North, Pascal Ugbome, emerged the candidate of the Orbih’s led primary while Mrs. Victoria Edelokun won the ticket of Obaseki led delegates in the parallel primaries conducted.