FOUR senior editors with the Vintage Press Limited, publishers of The Nation were on Tuesday arrested by security operatives from the Force CID, Alagbon, Lagos.
Nine detectives, led by Mr. Emma Ogolo came in two vehicles (a white-colour Rover Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV), marked PFN 357 B and a blue-colour Peugeot 504 Salon car, marked 2413 B).
A statement by the General Editor, Mr. Kunle Fagbemi said, “The Nigeria Police Force, Anti-Human Trafficking Unit” was inscribed on the sides of the SUV.
Three of the detectives entered the premises of the company on 27B, Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Mushin, while the two vehicles parked outside the gate had three men waiting in them.
In each of the waiting vehicles were; an armed policeman, a plain cloth security operative and the driver.
They asked to see the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Victor Ifijeh and the Editor, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso. They were not in the office when the officers called at about 2pm.
The Deputy Editor, Mr. Lawal Ogienagbon, who attended to them, was arrested alongside the News Editor of the newspaper’s weekend titles, Mr.
. Ogienagbon has been flown to Abuja.
The Managing Editor in charge of Northern Operations, Yusuf Alli, and the Bureau Chief, Mr. Yomi Odunuga, had earlier been picked up at the Abuja office of the newspaper and are being detained at the Force Headquarters.
Olufade was taken after the officers could not find any of the other four senior editors they were looking for, among whom were: the General Editor, Mr. Kunle Fagbemi, Managing Editor, Waheed Odusile, the Deputy Editor, News, Mr. Adesina Adeniyi, and Group Political Editor, Bolade Omonijo.
The company’s lawyer, Mr. John Unachukwu, the Chief Security Officer (CSO), Mr. Jide Adegbenjo and the Labour Correspondent, Mrs. Dupe Olaoye Oshinkolu also went with them. By press time, Olufade and Oshinkolu were still being detained in Lagos.
The police invasion, apparently meant to decapitate the paper’s leadership and disrupt production of the Wednesday edition, paralysed work at the newspaper house for many hours and unsettled staff.
Though the team did not disclose the contents of their Warrant, it is believed that it was not unconnected with the October 4 cover story of The Nation, entitled “Obasanjo’s ‘secret’ letter to Jonathan stirs anger. Ex-President seeks sack of PTDF chief, four others.”
The former President had in a chat with aviation reporters the following day, denied the authorship of such letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, threatening legal action against the newspaper. But The Nation stood by its story.