Police Arrest Newspaper Distributor in Lieu of Publisher

Mr. Ifreke Nseowo

On August 12, 2022, operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Akwa Ibom State Command, arrested a newspaper distributor, Mr. Chidi Ngadiubia, at his distribution point in Uyo and took him to their headquarters at Ikot-Akpan Abia in Uyo where he was detained, allegedly on the orders of the state government.

Chidi was arrested in lieu of the publisher of the Mail newspaper, Mr. Ifreke Nseowo whom the police were looking for over alleged offensive publications

Reports have it that a female caller had reached out to Ifreke, who had been on the run, telling him she had an advert for publication in his paper. The publisher asked the caller to drop the advertisement materials with the newspaper distributor for pick up at a later date.

Rather than an advertiser, a team of policemen stormed the distribution point, arrested and forcefully took Chidi to the police headquarters. They asked him to produce the publisher or he would be made to face the law for connivance.

The Mail is reported to have consistently published reports considered critical of the Akwa Ibom State government interest, especially on the alleged certificate forgery against the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state, Mr. Umo Eno.