After about 48 hours in detention, police free Globalupfront editor-in-chief

The Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Globalupfront Newspaper, Madu Onuorah, has been released after about 48 hours in police custody.
Mr Onuorah confirmed this to PREMIUM TIMES in a phone conversation from Enugu on Friday.
“I was released around 11 p.m. yesterday (Thursday),” he said.

At the time of filing this report, the editor said he was still in Enugu where he was taken to because he was unable to get a flight in the morning back to Abuja.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mr Onuorah was abducted at about 6 p.m. on Wednesday by the police from his Lugbe, Abuja home.

The management of his online news platform, in a statement on Thursday, said its editor-in-chief was whisked away by “stern-looking operatives” in the presence of his wife and children.
The operatives, according to the statement, seized the journalist’s phone and failed to present a warrant of arrest or disclose the reason for the arrest.

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Recounting how he was arrested, Mr Onuorah said the police officers, numbering 10, met him outside and said he should not go further inside to do anything but follow him.
“They didn’t allow me to go inside to change or even call my lawyer, they just insisted that I follow them without even disclosing where they are taking me,” he said.
He said he later got to know that he was arrested because his platform published a story about a Reverend Sister, Ngozi Mamah, who assaulted her 75-year-old stepmother.

“I was taken away by the police and was locked up in a cell in Lugbe until the DPO came and asked them to put me at the reception. I was then moved to Abakaliki and then to Ebonyi.
“I was taken to the commissioner of Police and the CP was telling me how to do my job. He said I should have not written a story like that, I was accused of defamation of character and the police arrested me because of that without a court order or evidence.
“I asked the CP if what we had published was true or not but he said I should have done it otherwise. He was teaching me my job. He said they should release me but I should go and reconcile with the woman. Reconcile on what? Did I write wrongly about her?
“I was not physically tortured but I was mentally tortured. The boxer I have been wearing for the past three days is still with me as I am talking to you now,” he said.
Earlier the FCT Police Command Spokesperson, Josephine Adeh told PREMIUM TIMES that the journalist was not arrested by the command.
“Yes, but FCT did not arrest him, it was Ebonyi State Police Command, So contact FPRO,” she said.
When contacted, the Ebonyi Police Spokesperson, Ukanda Joshua, revealed to our reporter on Thursday that the arrest was made from Enugu Command through a petition, but their police officers merely assisted in making the arrest.

He said, “I have received calls on this. Just to clarify, yes, I think the man who was arrested was arrested on a petition and the petition is not in Ebonyi Command. It is in Enugu command, our men just assisted in the arrest.”
Daniel Ndukwe, the spokesperson for Enugu Command, when contacted, said he was not aware of the arrest.
“It is just coming to my knowledge for the first time. Please send me the name of the person, let me confirm,” he told this newspaper.
He also promised to respond as soon as possible but he never did until Mr Onuorah was freed.
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