Minister Denies Complicity in Detention of Abuja Publisher

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Goddy Jedy-Agba

By Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

Minister of State, Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, has refuted imputations that he ordered the detention of the publisher of Power Steering Magazine, Mr Tom Ohia, by the police in Abuja.

Jedy-Agba, in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media and Communications Strategy, Mr. Ofem Uket, in Abuja, noted that contrary to the “concocted” online media reports, he was not a court of law to remand Ohia.

It was gathered that Ohia, in one of the published articles had alleged in the July 2020 edition of the magazine that the minister bribed the Nigerian Police in 2012 to suppress investigations into the ill-fated Dana plane crash.

The crash of the plane which was conveying passengers from Abuja to Lagos, he alleged, was masterminded and orchestrated by the minister when he served as Group General Manager, Crude Marketing, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

But Jedy-Agba, in the statement, maintained that he only reported the matter to the police for investigation, adding that he was not the judge who signed the court remand order bordering on allegations of bribery against the police.

He added that Ohia accused the police of taking bribes to bury the alleged shutting down of the airplane, noting that he was being held in connection with his case with the security agencies.

“It has become necessary to set the records straight by disclosing that the police secured a warrant of arrest to go after the self-acclaimed publisher who had severally declined invitation by the police to appear before them to answer questions bordering on allegation of bribery against them.

“The minister was only a complainant to the police having suffered libel in the hands of Tom Ohia because the publication was injurious and attempted to link the minister with acts of terrorism.

“The one man magazine, which flagrantly disregards the ethics of journalism for fair hearing and objectivity also disputed the report painstakingly carried out by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), which clearly and sufficiently analysed the dual failure of the engine of the Dana airlines.

“The report of the AIB did not mention Jedy-Agba either as one who masterminded or orchestrated the ill-fated air crash, which ugly memories still lives with the families of those who lost their lives and by extension the Nigerian state, especially the aviation industry,” the minister stated.

He maintained that eight years after, the allegation that the minister was responsible for the Dana air crash of 2012, in which over 190 Nigerians lost their lives, clearly, was a misrepresentation of facts, blackmail, intimidation and libel.

“At the time of the crash and the subsequent report of the AIB, relevant authorities did not dispute the AIB report, neither did Ohia contest the report, and after eight years, he is coming out with outright blackmail.

“To set the records straight, the minister has no hand in the detention of the journalist as the police have secured a remand order to keep him until his date of appearance in court.

“The media industry has to urgently rid the profession of quackery and specialised blackmailers by some self-acclaimed publishers of unknown newspapers and magazines, certainly not circulated beyond a few communities,” Jedy-Agba stated.