Journalist Quizzed by Police Fears for His Life

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• Insists he stands by ‘offensive’ story

Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

The publisher of an online news medium, OrderPaper, Mr. Oke Epia, who was quizzed by the National Assembly Police in the early hours of yesterday over a report considered damaging to a former member, House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Nwulu, has expressed fear for his life and his staff.

Though the National Assembly police were said to have detained Epia for allegedly defaming Nwulu and attempting to extort money from him, when THISDAY visited the Police Post, the Officer in Charge, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr. Musa Adamu said the Abuja-based journalist was not detained.

He said although he was arrested, he had been released on bail after making his statement.

“We arrested him and we have released him on bail. He had an issue with an honourable member. He honoured our invitation and he has since left,” Adamu told THISDAY.

He noted that there will be further investigation into the matter, adding that “It is not a crime for someone to be invited by the police and you honour it and come.

“There is no big deal in that. There is an allegation against him; so, it is for him to come and prove himself beyond reasonable doubt,” Adamu added.

When contacted, Epia insisted that he stood by his story and vowed to pursue a legal action against the former Lagos lawmaker who was in the eighth Assembly on the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) platform.

“I have been released on bail to reappear on Monday morning. Tony Nwulu said I defamed him; so, I think he told them it is ‘criminal defamation.’

“And, we stand by our story and we are going to make him defend his own wild allegation. He talked about extortion and we will want him to defend that.

“The story we have written, we stand by it, we will not recant; we will not amend it. If he feels very bad let him press charges.”