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SSS Arrests PUNCH Reporter Over Obasanjo Story Regarding Assassinations Of Bola Ige, Harry Marshal And Dikibo


The State Security Service (SSS) has again gone after the press, last Monday in Abeokuta arresting and harassing Segun Olatunji, the Ogun State Correspondent of The Punch.

Mr. Olatunji went to the offices of the SSS at the invitation of Joseph Okpo, its state Director, who had sent an invitation to him though Kehinde Akinyemi, the Chairman of the Ogun State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

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SaharaReporters has learned that Olatunji was then subjected to a full day of exhausting and humiliating questioning and harassment by Okpo himself, who then tagged with his deputy, Yau Umar, to continue the process, before he was handed over to their Principal Staff Officer (PSO).

The men, who said their activities had to do with issues “bordering on national security,” questioned the correspondent about his academic qualifications and work experience.  They then began an interrogation about a story in the Sunday Punch which contained allegations by two former government insiders against former President Olusegun Obasanjo about his maintenance in place of a killer squad that was previously used by General Sani Abacha.

Last month, the two men, Segun Seriki and Richard Odusanya, sent a petition to the National Assembly in which they called for an investigation of a slew of allegaitons they said they were ready to substantiate.

On April 20, the two men also appeared on SaharaTV and spoke, among others, about issues of corruption and several high profile killings during the Obasanjo presidency, including those of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige and Chief Harry Marshal, which were never solved by the police.

Nonetheless, Mr. Okpo, upset that Olatunji had failed to give him “straight answers” to his questions, instructed his faithful deputy to extract a statement from the reporter, who was then forced to open his email on a computer to enable the SSS identify some of the reports he has written in the past.

He was also forced to fill out forms and to write further statements, following which he was handed over to the Principal Staff Officer, and then fingerprinted and photographed in a variety of postures.

As the night fell, the reporter was returned to the office of the Deputy Director, made to write another statement, and then thrown into an unlighted room on the ground floor of the building.  The room contained two men in handcuffs.

The matter took a different turn thereafter when Mr. Akinyemi and the chairman of the NUJ, Wole Sokunbi came in and met with Mr. Okpo in his office.  When Mr. Olatunji was brought into the room, the powerful SSS boss asked if Olatunji, who had not been charged to court, would like the duo to “bail” him.

He was eventually released, but not until he had been warned against his “uncooperative and arrogant demeanour,” and asked to return again to the SSS office at 11.00am the following morning.

It is unclear at this point whether Mr. Okpo, Mr. Yau Umar, or their PSO have solved the security mystery they are chasing, or whether they have yet invited Chief Obasanjo to their office.

Calls to their office by SaharaReporters were not returned.

SOURCE: Sahara

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