June 13, 2024

The Director of the TV/radio station, Ifeanyi Okali, informed Vanguard that the police, citing a petition from Uche Onwuka Udensi, the elder brother of the guest Udensi Donald, invaded the station during a live program to arrest the guest over a family matter.

Expressing concern over the invasion, Okali stated that the police could have waited for the guest to leave the station instead of disrupting the live program. He criticized the police’s lack of regard for laws and professionalism, describing their actions as provocative, reckless, and unprofessional.

Okali detailed the events, explaining that despite pleas to allow the program to conclude before making the arrest, the police entered the studio, arrested the guest, and damaged various broadcast equipment, including laptops, cameras, microphones, and midgets. He characterized the incident as an attack on press freedom and human rights and called for compensation for the damaged equipment.

ABN TV/Radio demanded an open apology from the police and compensation for the financial losses incurred due to damaged equipment. The station insisted that the police were not properly trained on engaging with the civil populace in a democratic environment where the media plays a crucial role.

The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Maureen Chinaka, assured Vanguard that the state command is investigating the matter and emphasized that the appropriate action would be taken. She urged the public to remain calm.

The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) condemned the attack, viewing it as an assault on press freedom and democracy. Prof. Charles Chinekezi, Chairman CLO, Aba Unit, Abia State, called for legal action against the police and questioned why they couldn’t wait for the guest to conclude the program before making the arrest.

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