BEVERLY HILLS, January 30, (THEWILL) – The Lagos State Police Command has arrested the publisher of Biafra Times and nine others for allegedly publishing and circulating seditious and malicious publication.
Parading the 10 suspects, Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, said 515 copies of the offending newspaper were recovered during a raid on the printing press in Shomolu, Lagos.
“The printing press has been shut and the environment is being monitored. This is an offence punishable under the Criminal Law of Lagos State,” Owoseni said.
He added that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as detectives finished interrogating them.
The arrested publisher, however, told journalists that he had no intention to promote disunity and disharmony among Nigerians.
“I love my country and I love my president. My intention is not to fight my country; I just want to pass out information to those who have no access to the Internet.
“I usually go on the Internet to source for information and publish. I have other papers on sports and social life which I publish,” he said.
“I decided to specialise on Biafra Times when I discovered it is always a sell-out anytime we published stories about eastern parts of the country.
“Sometimes, I go to newspaper vendors and hear people requesting for Biafra Times.
“We usually print about 5000 copies which we sell for N100 nationwide.
In another development, a Borno State High Court has ordered the immediate release of Abuja based publisher, Inuwa Bwala, who was two weeks ago arrested by the police and detained in Maiduguri for alleged attempted murder.
Justice Hadiza Jos of the Borno State High Court Number 14 said it was unlawful for the police to detain an accused beyond two days without trial.
The judge also faulted the police for detaining Bwala despite his health condition, saying that the matter for which he was being charged does not warrant such treatment.
The publisher, who was detained alongside his driver, was in court to challenge the police for breaching their rights, for which they are demanding a N2 billion compensation.