Two journalists with National Waves Magazine: Emmanuel Fateman, an Assistant Editor, and Joseph Jolayemi, a graphic artist, are being detained by officers of the special force after they allegedly uncovered a fraudulent deal involving Bauchi State government funds to the tune of N650 million. The duo have been in detention since December 16, 2014.
Jimmy Enyeh, publisher of the magazine said that in August 2014, the magazine uncovered alleged suspicious dealings in respect of a contract worth N650 million awarded to A. A. Oil Company Limited.
He said pursuant to the magazine’s policy of fair and honest reportage, he sought Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar’s side of the story through a letter dated September 1, 2014, titled “Request for reaction on collection N650million for unexecuted contract.” Alhaji Abubakar is the chairman/CEO of A. A. Oil Company Limited.
Enyeh disclosed that: “Despite the foregoing letter, neither Alhaji Aliyu Abubabar nor any representative of his company communicated their version of the story. The story was consequently published on 22nd September 2014.”
He said as soon as the story was published, he started receiving strange threatening phone calls about the story to the effect that the apparatus of the state including the law enforcement agencies will be used to punish him for publishing such the story.
He said further that police officers of the Inspector General of Police special task force on terrorism and heinous crimes, on the instruction of Alhaji Abubakar, served a letter of invitation while he was out of town preparing for National Waves anniversary event.
Enyeh said he informed his lawyer when he learnt of the invitation and suggested a rescheduled meeting adding that the officer refused to the suggested rescheduling promising to get him at all cost since he knew where he was.
Based on the threat, Enyeh reportedly instituted an action at of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory challenging the interference of the IGP Special Task Force on Terrorism and Heinous Crime in an issue perceived to be civil in nature.
In similar vein, Alhaji Abubakar also filed a civil suit before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory seeking various reliefs against National Waves Magazine and Jimmy Enyeh for alleged defamatory publications.
In spite of the two pending cases, the IGP Special Task Force arrested Fateman and Jolayemi and have kept them in detention since.
They remain in detention and have not been charged to any court.