Abia Radio/TV invasion: BON, NUJ, NGE carpet Police

•BON begins investigation
•As NGE lauds Ofili-Ajumogobia on Broadcast Code

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief & Emmanuel Elebeke

The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, BON, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, have berated the Nigeria Police over its recent invasion of a Radio/Television station, ABN TV/Radio, based in Umuahia, Abia State.

Recall that men of the Nigerian Police few days ago invaded ABN TV/Radio in Umuahia, during a live programme and arrested a guest and destroyed equipment.

The policemen attached to the Umuahia Area Command, allegedly destroyed equipment and other property worth millions of naira at the station.

BON’s Secretary General, Yemisi Bamgbose, who spoke to Vanguard, yesterday, condemned the action of police, describing it as barbaric and unwarranted.

Bamgbose said: “Ordinarily and in the first instance, the action of police is barbaric. Police was not expected in any way for whatever reason to go in to disrupt a live programme, let alone invade the station, even if through that programme, they noticed that the person they were looking for was there.“

“What they were supposed to have done was to wait patiently either outside or far away from the station to effect the arrest. But going there to arrest a suspect for whatever reason directly in the studio is highly condemnable.”

On what BON would do over the development, Bamgbose said:‘‘The fact of the matter is this, incidentally, the station concerned is not a member of BON because it is an online broadcast station, but that notwithstanding, BON has been making frantic efforts to reach the owner of the station as we need to get some facts and clarifications before we take any action.

“The fact of the matter is that, in the first instance, the action of Police is an action that should not even come up at all, whether that station is licenced by NBC or not, whether it is a member of BON or not. We condemn in totality the action of the invaders and We feel it is barbaric and something that should not have come up at all.’’

Media central to survival of democracy -NUJ
On its part, NUJ, President, Chief Chris Isiguzo, said yesterday: “Immediately it happened, we promptly condemned the action of the officers who reportedly invaded the station. There was nothing wrong with waiting till the end of the programme, instead of invading the station while the person in question was in a live programme.“

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