Police Detain Newspaper Vendor for Undisclosed Reasons

Mr. Patrick Onwuaha

On May 13, 2021, the Delta State Police Command arrested and detained a newspaper vendor, Mr Patrick Onwuaha, popularly known as Ocha, incommunicado, without disclosing the reasons for his arrest and detention.

Patrick who had to be in the business of selling newspapers for over 15 years, was arrested while selling newspapers on the streets of Asaba.

His wife, Ngozi, told journalists that she waited till around 9pm on May 13 and when she didn’t see her husband, she started calling some of his vendor colleagues to find out if they saw him. Most of them said they saw him in the morning.

She said on May 14, she made a report of her missing husband at the ‘A’ Division Police Station and thereafter moved from police stations to hospitals in Asaba but nobody said they know about his whereabouts.

It was while at the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, she said a call came through from an unknown number which was cut before she could pick it. She said she called the number and it was her husband who answered and asked her to come to the Police Command Headquarters.

She said she quickly went to the Police Command headquarters but was not allowed to see him but was asked to return on May 15. Again, she was not able to see him.

Again on May 17, she went but was not allowed to see him, claiming he was not there

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bright Edafe, when contacted, said “I don’t know anything about the issue beyond the fact that the vendor is in the custody of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit.”

He has neither been charged to court nor has anyone disclosed why he is being held.