by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
A Lawmaker in the National Assembly and Chairman House Committee on Drugs and Narcotics, Hon. Francis Ottah Agbo, has raised alarm on the endless secret detention of a journalist by the police over a publication.
Hon. Agbo, who called for the immediate release of the journalist by Inspector-General Police (IGP), threatened that he’ll drag the matter to the floor of the Green Chamber, if police failed to release him before the House reconvened.
A statement issued and made available to our correspondent on Monday stated that “A 72-year old Nigerian journalist, Oga Tom Uhia, has been kept under secret detention by the Nigeria Police for three weeks and still counting.
“Information reaching me indicated that the incarceration of veteran Uhia was ordered by the Minister of State for Power, Chief Goddy Jeddy Agba, over a publication in the July 2020 edition of Power Steering Magazine, owned by the detained victim journalist,” the lawmaker stated.
According to him, in spite of several interventions from well-meaning Nigerians, the Press Council, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), “both the National Secretariat and the FCT Council, Chief Agba has insisted that the senior citizen and Septuagenarian Publisher must rot in perpetual detention.
“As a journalist myself, I have read the publication, and I don’t see the justification for the torture and mental slavery that my brother colleague is being put through!
“If Chief Agba (the minister) is pained by the publication, he should approach the court and stop intimidating the publisher. By harassing Uhia, the minister has taken laws into his hands!
“Uhia fought for our hard earned democracy, which Chief Agba is enjoying, and instead of nurturing it has by this act, attempted to jeopardize it.
“IGP, protect your integrity! Failure to release journalist Uhia I will bring this matter to the floor of the Green Chamber when the House reconvenes! A stitch in time saves 9!,” he warned.