A human rights advocacy group under the aegis of Centre for Justice and Accountability Project (CJAP) has called on the Director General of department of state security (DSS) Yusuf Magaji Bichi, the minister of state Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi K. Wabote to urgently release Mr. Bara Ogidi, a journalist from Bayelsa state who was arrested by the DSS on the alleged orders of the minister of state Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, and the Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi K. Wabote.
Speaking with NAIJA LIVE TV, the Wife of the arrested journalists said, her husband has been detained since Monday 6th June 2022 when he was invited to the DSS Yenagoa office in company of the Bayelsa State Chapter Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Comr. Samuel Numo-Nengi.
NAIJA LIVE TV earlier reported that, the Journalist was whisked away by the Security agents but later released to the Bayelsa State NUJ Chairman on self-recognition after his intervention.
But the group (CJAP), in a statement issued via electronic mail and signed by Comrade Tekena Wilfred stated that “earlier this year the same Sylva and Wabote unlawfully arrested the journalist for 48 hours without any explanation, neither did they take him to court”
“They abused him for 48 hours and deprives him of food and water. At the end, no charges were filed against him, and he was released after 48 hours of torture and abuse”
“Now they have arrested him again without any explanation, and he has been languishing in DSS cell for days unending.”
“Sylva and Wabote have turned senior officials at the Nigeria Department of State Security (DSS) as their errand boys.” – Comrade Tekena added
Comrade Tekena Wilfred also accused the minister of state Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva of using his influences in the presidency, most especially his suspected alleged relationship with the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari to oppress the Journalists (Bara Ogidi) due to a publication he recently published.
When NAIJA LIVE TV contacted the Media aide to the Honorable Minister for comments, he declined and further distances the ministers involvement in the recent ordeal of Bara Ogidi with the DSS
“My Boss has no Business with the arrest of Bara Ogidi by the DSS, he’s not aware of the arrest of the Journalist but I will get back to you”
NAIJA LIVE TV gathered that, the group (CJAP) has allegedly sent petitions detailing Journalists (Bara Ogidi) human rights abuses by these individuals to the International Criminal Court (ICC), and to the United States Department of State for possible visa cancellations and or denial of entry into the United States upon any of these individuals arriving at U.S. Border and presenting themselves to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the point of entry.
NAIJA LIVE TV further gathered that, the Journalist was arrested over an article he published earlier this year on his media outlets (TrackNews) calling for the sack of the Executive Secretary Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, Engr. Simbi K. Wabote for alleged fraud and corruption.
Despite that fact that many news outlets (Naija LiveTv Not Inclusive) published the same article but for some reason, the DSS, Sylva and Simbi has decided to make Journalist Bara Ogidi their scape-goat.
As Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Simbi K. Wabote oversee a portfolio of over $2billion USD.