The management of Sun Publishing Limited said yesterday that policemen from the Abia State Command on Thursday ‘abducted’ an associate editor of the newspaper Mr. Ebere Wabara, from his Surulere residence in Lagos.
Ebere is also Special Assistant, Media to former governor of Abia State and founder of The Sun newspaper, Dr. Uzor Orji Kalu.
According to a statement by Managing Director of The Sun, Femi Adesina, the journalist was reportedly abducted between 6.30 and 7a.m in the presence of his wife, Adanna, and their underaged children.
The policemen from the State CID, Umuahia, according to Mr. Adesina, “had identified themselves to Wabara, and told him that some unnamed persons had written a petition against him in Abia State. He was, therefore, asked to follow them to the state, where he would be charged with sedition”.
Wabara was first taken to Sholoki Police Station at Aguda, Surulere, and later to Oyingbo police station, also in Lagos.
Narrating how her husband was taken, Adanna, said he had gone downstairs to pick something from his car when suddenly she heard him screaming.
“Shortly after, I heard him shouting, and I ran downstairs. I saw between seven and eight men, who said they were policemen. They said he needed to follow them to Umuahia, that there was a petition against him for sedition”, she said.
She continued: “They took us back into the house, one of them brought out an I.D Card, showing that he was a policeman. They requested to search our bedroom. They did, and collected my husband’s laptop and telephone.
“I followed as they took him to Sholoki Police Station, but later, I had to take the children to school. By the time I returned, they had moved him away. His phones could not be reached, and he had not eaten. Now, we are deeply traumatized, the entire family”.
Ebere’s employers said the abduction could only have been at the prompting of the Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adamu Ibrahim, and “perhaps under the further instruction of the state governor, Chief T. A. Orji, as a throwback to the dark days of military dictatorship, when might was right, and the strong trampled on the weak”.
It added: “it is unconscionable, repressive and flies in the face of all that is decent and civil. It has all the trappings of autocracy, rather than democracy.
“If Mr Wabara infringed any law, we would have expected the police to invite him to answer questions, and then charge him to court. The approach that has been adopted is Gestapo-like, and unbecoming of those who instigated it.
“Those entrusted with the upholding of the law are not expected to trample on others.
“This is what the policemen from Abia State have done, and it runs contrary to the code of conduct for policemen as espoused by the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Dikko Abubakar”, the Sun Publishing Limited said.
When contacted, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Charles Ajunwa confirmed the development but denied the editor was abducted.
The Chief Press Secretary to Governor Orji, Mr. Geofrey Ogbonna denied the involvement of his principal as he was not even aware of the development.