One week after security agents arrested the New Telegraph’s newspaper distributor, Chuks Ugwuibe in Imo state, five others were Monday arrested.
Our correspondent gathered that policemen stormed the newspaper distribution centre on Rotibi Street in the morning and arrested five of them, without giving them an opportunity to know why they were being arrested.
When Ugwuibe was declared missing last week, newsmen tried to find out from the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Ikokwu, if he was in their custody, but he answered in the negative. On Monday morning, a call and a text message were again sent across to him and there was no response.
However, Blueprint’s distributor in Imo, Victor Opara, confirmed that Ugwuibe was brought to Rotibi by some “plain clothe” policemen Saturday and after inspecting his office, they left with him.
“When they came, we thought the people were men of the DSS. But they came back this morning with a Hilux van and a Siena car with the inscription IRT and arrested our members who were distributing newspapers. They arrested five of them, including Announcer, Starpost and Newsbreak distributors,” he said.
This development has added another dimension to the increasing security problem in the state.
Last week, the DSS in the state invited publishers of local newspapers and some journalists and warned them on the kind of information they dish out to the public to avoid heating up the polity.
This is coming a day after Governor Hope Uzodimma allegedly instructed his political appointees not to grant interview to journalists without approval from appropriate quarters.