The Nigeria Police Force headquarters said on Monday that the Publisher of Power Steering News, Mr. Tom Oga Uhia, was arrested and being detained on the strength of a remand court order.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Council, had described as unfortunate and abuse of power , the arrest and detention of Mr Uhia by the police.
According to NUJ, Mr. Uhia was arrested Wednesday night in a ‘’Gestapo manner’’ by the men of the Force Criminal Investigation Department(FCID) Abuja on the instructions of the Minister of State, Power, Mr. Godwin Jeddy Agba.
However, speaking with journalists in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said the journalist was detained on a remand court order.
“I was trying to see what can be done but I was informed that he was detained on remand order”,
the police spokesman stated.
Although, Mba didn’t disclosed the alleged crime committed by Oga Uhia, but a source at the FCID in Area 10, Abuja, where he is currently being detained ,said that the publisher is being tried over alleged “criminal intimidation, blackmail and extortion.’’
The journalist was arrested on October 13, following an article published in the paper, accusing the Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Agba of masterminding the crash of DANA Airline in 2012 without justifying his claims in the cover story.
In a statement recently, by Chairman and Secretary of the NUJ FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, respectively, the union claimed that if the minister believes he had been either defamed or suffered libel, he should seek judicial remedy through the courts rather than resorting to abuse of power and privilege using the police.
“It is obvious that recent events are not enough lessons to officials in power that there is always a day of reckoning. If the Minister of State, Power, Mr. Godwin Jeddy Agba feels strongly that he has suffered libel or defamation, what he ought to do is to seek legal remedy through the courts rather than using the police to arrest and detained Mr. Tom Oga Uhia, publisher of Power Steering Magazine for over 72 hours now without being charged to court,”
the statement said.