The Department of State Services has launched a manhunt for Samuel Ogundipe, an investigative journalist with an online newspaper, Premium Times, over a report on the rift between Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, and National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno.
It was gathered that the service was angry at the report, which exposed a memo written by Monguno accusing Kyari of undue interference on matters bordering on national security.
The journalist has since gone into hiding following threats from operatives of the agency, who already laid siege to his house.
In the leaked memo obtained by the journalist, Monguno issued a warning to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Kyari.
In a post on Twitter, former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, revealed plans by the secret police to arrest the journalist with a view to forcing him to disclose his source.
For reporting the rift between @NGRPresident Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari & NSA,cGen. Monguno, #Nigeria’s State Security are after investigative journalist, @SamuelOgundipe, who’s bn forced into hiding.#LeaveSamOgundipeAlone#JournalismIsNotACrime
— Chidi Odinkalu (@ChidiOdinkalu) February 29, 2020
Also, human rights activist and Convener, Enough Is Enough, Yemi Adamolekun in a tweet said, “We find it extremely disturbing that @NigeriaGov through the DSS is moving to arrest Samuel Ogundipe over leaked NSA’s letter on Abba Kyari.
We find it extremely disturbing that @NigeriaGov through the DSS is moving to arrest Samuel Ogundipe over leaked NSA’s letter on Abba Kyari.
This campaign to harass, intimidate and silence journalists violates the core principles of democracy. pic.twitter.com/Ks1LY2HDzi
— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) February 29, 2020
Confirming the development, a senior member of Premium Times, Idris Akinbajo, said they were aware of the plan by the service but explained that the service had not formally invited the journalist for interrogation or questioning.
He added that Ogundipe would honour an invitation by the DSS whenever called upon to report at any of their facilities.
Court Orders Immediate Release Of Orji Kalu
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Nigerian Correctional Services to immediately release a former Governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.
Kalu is in the Kuje Correctional Service centre following his conviction last December for looting N7.65billion belonging to Abia State.
Justice Mohammad Liman granted the lawmaker’s application for release moved by his counsel Lateef Fagbemi.
The judge made the order after he received no opposition to Kalu’s application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
BREAKING: Senator Muse Dies
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state, Munir Adekunle Muse, is dead.
Muse was a former lawmaker who represented Lagos Central Senatorial District in the Senate between 2007 and 2011.
His death was announced by his son, Sulaimon Muse, on Tuesday.
Rivers Govt Begins Decontamination Exercise
The Rivers State Government has kick started the decontamination of public places as part of measures to keep the state safe from coronavirus.
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike who flagged off the programme today at Government House, Port Harcourt, said with the commencement of the exercise, all public places in the state will be decontaminated.
He restated his administration’s commitment to the protection of the lives of everyone living and doing business in the state.
“I have always said that the lives of Rivers people and those living and doing business in the state is paramount. Part of the reason why markets are still shut is because we have not decontaminated them.
“As we decontaminate the markets, particularly the ones in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Area, traders will undertake to abide by all relevant protocols because we are talking about the lives of people.
“All public and private schools will be decontaminated before schools open. Churches and motor parks will also be decontaminated,” he stated.
The Governor reiterated that coronavirus is real and that people who denied its existence have started believing due to the number of persons that had died.
He warned that government will not allow recalcitrant persons who refuse to obey government advisories to infect law abiding citizens with the virus.
“This issue of COVID- 19 is real and government will not hesitate to seal up and prosecute owners of banks, shopping malls, restaurants, shops, business places or offices that fail to enforce social distancing and the wearing of face masks in their premises,” he said.
He urged the Decontamination Team not to compromise standards but to put in their best to ensure that the entire state is decontaminated.
In his speech, the Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency, Bro. Felix Obuah said the Decontamination Team made up of medical and environmental experts was put in place in line with the governor’s directives to decontaminate public places in the state.
The Leader of the Decontamination Team, Dr. Ian Abraham Gobo pledged that the team will carry out the exercise with utmost dedication.
He commended the Governor for putting Rivers people first in his fight against COVID-19,adding that the decontamination of the state will give the people a new lease of live when normal business activities resume.
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