Arrest of journalist: Group absolves Minister Of Any Blame, Gives Fresh Details

November 7, 2020
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A group, Centre for Peace, Transparency and Accountability (CPTA) has released fresh details about the arrest and detention of a journalist, which has been linked to the minister of state for power, Goddy Jeddy Agba.

In a statement sent to journalists on Saturday, November 7 and signed by its Head of Media, Comrade Edwin Olorunfemi, the group stated that the minister has nothing to do with the arrest and detention of Mr Tom Ohia, the publisher of Power Steering Magazine.

The group accused Ohia of alleging that the minister bribed the Nigeria police in 2012, to suppress investigations into the ill-fated Dana plane crash conveying passengers from Abuja to Lagos.

It said Ohia further alleged that the minister masterminded the crash when he was Group General Manager, Crude marketing at the NNPC.

CPTA also stated that Ohia alleged that Agba is behind his arrest and detention by the police, in connection with his earlier claims.

“What sort of influence does a Group General Manager, crude Marketing, NNPC wield, to be able to influence the activities of a different ministry to the extent of orchestrating a plane crash which gives the aviation ministry negative publicity?

“Did Goddy Jeddy Agba double as the minister of Aviation while he was the Group General Manager, Crude, marketing at NNPC?

“Secondly, why drag the person of Goddy Jeddy Agba into a case brought against him by the Nigeria Police, for false accusation of bribe-taking by the police, when the minster is not even a plaintiff in the case?

“The Nigeria police secured a valid court warrant for his arrest based on unsubstantiated allegations of bribe-taking against them by the publisher, yet it is the minister’s name Mr Ohia is dragging all over the mud and dancing with same at the marketplaces. Why?

“Finally, Mr Goddy Jeddy Agba being a law-abiding citizen, reported the publisher’s libellous publication to the Nigeria Police, to the intent that Mr Ohia should be refrained from further damaging the minister’s reputation by way of his malicious and spurious allegations. No mention was ever made by the minister in that petition, about arresting nor detaining Mr Ohia.

“So, the minister’s petition and the police case against Mr Ohia, are two mutually exclusive events which have no bearing on each other, therefore the minister’s petition is totally unconnected with Mr Ohia’s arrest. Why then is Mr Ohia bent on casting aspersions on the minister?” the group queried.

CPTA stated that the accusations against the minister are at best-unsubstantiated allegations and unfounded falsehoods, “aimed at dragging the public profile of the minister into disrepute, or worst still, catalyse a legal action of untold proportion against the minister via such an accusation which borders on national security and terrorism.”

It described the minister as a perfect gentleman who gives his traducers the opportunity to retrace their steps.

The group stated that for the minister to sheath his sword, “the false accusations and the accuser must come clean in order to even the balance.”

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