SSS Arrests Punch Journalist Over An Article

The State Security Service on Monday detained the Ogun State Correspondent of The Punch, Mr. Segun Olatunji.

sss-officials-nigeriaOlatunji had gone to the SSS Command office on the invitation of its state Director, Mr. Joseph Okpo.

Okpo, through the Chairman, Correspondent Chapel of the state Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi, invited Olatunji to the SSS office in Abeokuta.

Upon arrival at the SSS office about 12.15pm in company with Akinyemi, The Punch correspondent was ushered into Okpo’s office, who after asking him questions about his academic qualifications and work experience, said he would have to wait behind to assist the agency over some issues “bordering on national security”.

The SSS director, who was later joined by his deputy, Yau Umar, then began to interrogate Olatunji over a story published by the Sunday Punch and in which allegations of maintaining a killer squad were made by two PDP members against former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The SSS director questioned Olatunji about his relationship with Segun Seriki and Richard Odusanya said to have made the allegations against Obasanjo.

He also asked him whether he knew the Sunday Punch Editor, Ms. Toyosi Ogunseye as well as Allwell Okpi and Leke Bayewu.

The SSS director, who cautioned Olatunji for not giving him “straight answers” to his questions, then handed him over to his deputy whom he instructed to extract a statement from Olatunji.

At the office of the SSS deputy director, Olatunji was provided with a Dell laptop and compelled to open his e-mail from where some of the reports he did in the past were copied and printed.

He was then given a form and asked to write a statement.

After writing the statement, he was again asked to write another one inside the office of the Principal Staff Officer.

After the additional statement, A “profiling form” was given to him to fill.

Later, his fingerprints were taken and a photographer invited to take photographs of his face and backview.

Olatunji was then returned to the SSS deputy director’s office where he was asked to write yet another statement.

Having done so, at about 7.30pm, he was taken to an unlit room on the ground floor of the buidling where he met two other persons who were in handcuffs. Shortly after, food was brought for the two people.

About 8pm, Akinyemi walked in and few minutes later, the NUJ chairman, Mr. Wole Sokunbi, too came in. The duo went upstairs to meet the SSS director.

About 8.15pm, Olatunji was again taken to Okpo’s office where he met both the NUJ and correspondent chapel chairmen already seated with the SSS boss.

The SSS boss then asked if Olatunji would like the duo to “bail” him.

He was eventually released about 8.20pm after being warned against his “uncooperative and arrogant demeanour.”

He then asked the NUJ and correspondent chapel chairman to ensure that Olatunji reported to the SSS office at 11.00am on Tuesday (today).

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