Policemen Invade Newspaper Office Over Corruption Story, Arrest Journalist

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 Armed policemen on August 10, 2021 invaded the headquarter offices of Kings Communications Limited, Lagos, publishers of Money Management Series (MMS) Plus newspaper, over a story of alleged corruption and debts in the Dangote refinery. They arrested Mr. Yusuf Odejobi, a reporter with the newspaper when they could not find the editor and editor-in-chief

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The policemen had stormed the premises in an attempt to arrest the Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Kingsley Anaroke and the Editor, Mr. Kenneth Jukpor over a story published and titled “AMCON May Take Over Dangote Refinery as Liabilities Swell”. The story claims Dangote Group’s debt profile was set to hit $8.4billion by 2025 and that the company’s debt is currently at about $7 billion, with $700 million per annum set for debt servicing.

The invasion followed an initial threat allegedly made by the Chief Corporate Communications Officer, Dangote Group, Mr. Anthony Chiejina to take the editorial leadership of the media organization to court over the story. 

In addition, Chiejina was also said to have sent photos of the news editor and publisher of the media organization to them as a subtle threat, which they ignored.

The policemen requested for keys to the personal office of the Editor-in-Chief during the raid. The futile attempt by the armed policemen to find the Editor-in-Chief and Editor of MMS Plus led to the arrest of Yusuf

Yusuf was handcuffed and bundled into a Blue Ford Ranger police vehicle and while in the vehicle heading to the police station, the police officers threatened to use him as a scapegoat. He was taken to the Zonal CID, Zone 2 Command, Onikan where he was from one office to another in handcuffs from 12noon to about 5:30pm.

According to him, there were four officers; two from Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), a legal officer and a man who claimed to work with the Dangote Group. He said the they asked for his personal details such as home address, family’s contacts, work history, among others, reminding him that they could also come to his house if they didn’t meet anyone at the office any time they go there.

He said he was asked to write a statement after which he was handed a letter of invitation for the publisher. He said he was allowed to go home at about 5.30pm local time based on “Self Righteousness” after collecting N500 which was said to be for “capturing”.