Some policemen attached to the Anambra State Police Command have arrested PUNCH’s correspondent in the state, Tony Okafor, over reports on the suspended senior lecturer of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Peter Ekemezie.
Our correspondent learnt that Okafor was manhandled by the police team before his detention for over six hours at the Awka Area Command.
The reporter said the police claimed to be acting on a petition by Ekemezie.
He said, “Around 11.15am, two plain-clothes policemen came to the Aroma junction, a meeting point for journalists in Awka, and said I was under arrest. When I enquired why, they said a lecturer at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University wrote a petition against me.
“While the policemen were still explaining to me, the lecturer, Peter Ekemezie, surfaced and started shouting, ‘Arrest him, he is the purveyor of my travails’.
“The policemen first took me to the ‘B’ Division and later transferred me to the Awka Area Command, where I was detained for six hours. Following the intervention of the state Commissioner of Police, John Abang, and the Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed, I was taken on bail by a colleague.”
The police spokesperson, Mohammed, however, denied that Okafor was arrested, adding that he was only invited to make a statement based on Ekemezie’s petition against him.
“There was an allegation against him. We are investigating an allegation from the petitioner. The allegation is still under investigation. Ask the person and he will tell you the allegation,” he said.
When our correspondent asked the spokesperson if the petitioner provided any evidence to back up the allegation, he said, “That is what the police are investigating now. That is why I said it was an allegation.”
The PUNCH had run a series of investigative reports on the lecturer, which culminated in his suspension after years of cover-up.
He was to be promoted from the position of a senior lecturer to a reader (associate professor) when our correspondent began reporting on the matter.
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