How police illegally detained me for a month over article on Buhari's minister - Journalist

A Nigerian journalist and publisher of Power Steering Magazine has narrated his experience in detention for a month following publication on Goddy Jedy-Agba, the Minister of State for Power. 


Oga Tom Uhia, publisher of the monthly independent Power Steering magazine, has been detained for weeks on a defamation complaint. (CPJ/Peter Nkanga sent to OV)Abuja, November 18.

There have been reports on how Mr Uhia was arrested October 13 following a petition dated July 1 by a lawyer, Obi Nwakor, on behalf of the minister. After a month in illegal detention, he eventually arraigned before Justice A. B Mohammed of the FCT High Court 19, Gudu, Abuja on November 9. 

Mr Uhia was accused of defaming Mr Jedy-Agba. But in an interview published by The Union Nigeria, the journalist said his report indicting Mr Jedy-Agba of his alleged involvement in an incident that led to the 2012 Dana airline crash was well investigated. 

He disclosed that the minister found the report hash, hence, he tried to use police to gag him.  

"As a matter of fact, of the three major stories in that edition, the Minister tried to cover the others with this one. This was not the most grievous of the stories". 

“The story on the stealing of crude oil in Nigeria would have been the major cover. He systematically avoided that one to pick his alleged involvement in the crash of the Dana aircraft in 2012. That notwithstanding, he picked me and locked me up for 29 days on the instance of the DIG, of Force CID headquarters, Abuja, Mr Michael Ogbizi, his mother’s younger brother.”

The journalist who claimed to remain undaunted said he has been facing detentions from late General Sani Abacha's regime for exposing government irregularities. 

Mr Uhia said successive governments have continued to detain him for his radical journalism aimed at unraveling the truth and expose corrupt practices.

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