The Zone 7 Police Command headquarters, Abuja, has denied detaining a senior reporter with the African Independent Television, Amaechi Anekwe, saying he was merely interrogated for about five hours and then allowed to go.
The Zonal Public Relations Officer of the command, Chidi Nzota, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, explained that Anakwe was not kept in a cell or beaten by hardened criminals as he alleged.
The journalist had alleged that he was kept in a cell with hardened criminals who had spent about three years in custody on the orders of Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu.
But Nzota claimed that at the time Anekwe was with the Police, there were only three suspects in the cell, including a Police Constable, who was detained on disciplinary grounds, adding that none of them had spent more than one or two days in detention.
The PPRO also challenged Mr. Anekwe to prove the various allegations against AIG Mbu, stressing that the accusations were meant to ridicule “Mbu, who is a Johannesburg awardee as the best crime fighting Police chief in Africa and a holder of IGP medal of courage”.
Nzota further accused Anekwe of misinforming the public that he was manhandled, stressing that there was no scar on his body to support his allegation.
He said, “He was neither detained in the cell nor manhandled by anybody; The AIG is therefore at a loss as to the reason Anekwe and co-travellers chose to misinform the public that he was manhandled and beaten to stupor by hardened criminals.
“His sequential lies continued that the Police denied him the use of his drugs meant to treat his ailment, yet there was no scar on his body and Nigerians saw him on ‘Matters Arising,’ a live programme of AIT the following day”.
The zonal police spokesman quoted AIG Mbu as saying that some sections of the media “had occupied themselves with attacking his personality, telling falsehood and falsifying facts to justify their purpose in total disregard for principle of fair hearing”.