David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
Anambra State Police Command (ASPC) has arrested a reporter with Punch newspapers, Mr. Tony Okafor, over a petition brought to the State Police Commissioner, John Abang, by a former lecturer with Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, Anambra State.
The former lecturer, Dr. Peter Ekemezie, was sacked by the university following an allegation published by Punch newspaper that he forged some credentials to attain a PhD
The notice of his sack was communicated by the Registrar of NAU, Philomena Okoye, in a letter that ordered the indicted lecturer to immediately hand over all the institution’s property and must not return to the institution except with the express permission of the Vice Chancellor.
The Punch reporter disclosed to THISDAY that he was arrested by the police yesterday, around 12p.m., on the petition of the sacked lecturer.
However, the Public Relations Officer of ASPC, SP. Haruna Mohammed, has denied that Okafor was arrested. Mohammed said the reporter was only invited by the police after the indicted former lecturer, Ekemezie, wrote a petition against him to the state’s police commissioner.
Mohammed said: “There was a formal petition to the Commissioner of Police against one Mr.Tony Okafor and seven other persons.
“The police invited Mr. Tony Okafor for interview to ascertain the veracity of the complaint against him.
“Tony Okafor was never detained by the police, that’s why he is still using his handset to communicate.
“The commissioner of police has directed that I should find out the circumstances surrounding the incident from the officer in charge of the case and feed him back immediately.
“I have contacted the officer and he stated that he would give Mr. Tony Okafor the petition to go through.
“I have equally contacted Okafor and assured him that he would be granted bail as soon as the IPO comes back and investigation will continue. I will keep you posted on any further development please,” Mohammed said.
The reporter was still being interrogated by the police at the time of filing this report.