Police raid Premium Times head office; arrest publisher
Barely a week after a heated exchange with the Nigerian Army over one of its reports, popular online news medium, Premium Times was Thursday evening raided by men of the Nigerian Police Force.
A correspondent working with the news platform, Samuel Ogundipe, announced the visit of the police officers, via his Twitter account.
Police officers just raided Premium Times. They arrested the publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi, and my colleague, Evelyn Okakwu. Story up shortly.
— Samuel Ogundipe (@SamuelOgundipe) January 19, 2017
According to Ogundipe, the police arrested Premium Times publisher, Dapo Olorunyomi and another journalist, Evelyn Okakwu.
The Premium Times publisher and the duo of Ogundipe and Okakwu had earlier been jointly threatened by the Nigerian Army in a letter written by one Major I M Alkali in December 2016.
The letter written on behalf of the chief of army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai and the leadership of the army accused Premium Times of presenting Gen Buratai and the leadership of the army in bad light through some of its reports.
In response, Premium Times through a Lagos-based human rights lawyer, Mr Jiti Ogunye, demanded an apology for the threats and a retraction of accusations made against the platform.
It is yet unclear if Thursday’s visit by the police and the arrest of both the Premium Times publisher, Olorunyomi and Ms Okakwu are connected to the face-off between the medium and the Nigerian Army.
It will also be noted that a few days back, Premium Times published a report indicating that the Nigerian military was preparing troops for deployment to The Gambia to unseat sit-tight leader, Yahya Jammeh, a report which was described by the army as a fabrication.
The online newspaper thereafter threatened to publish scanned copies of documents proving the veracity of its story.
The report however turned out true as troops from the Nigerian Air Force were airlifted to The Gambia on Wednesday while a naval ship also sailed to the troubled West African country.
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