Abuja journalists storm Police Headquarters over missing Vanguard reporter

Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) FCT Council on Monday stormed the Force Headquarters (FHQ) in protest over the mysterious disappearance of Comrade Tordue Henry Salem, a journalist with Vanguard Newspaper attached to the House of Representatives.

The journalists led by the FCT Council Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Ogbeche, appealed to IGP Usman Alkali Baba to expedite action in ensuring the safe return of the journalist who was last seen on Wednesday, October 13.

The journalists who appeared in black attires marched from the Ministry of Women Affairs to Force Headquarters were armed with various placards with various inscriptions such as “Enough Is Enough”, “Free Tordue Now, Journalism Is Not a Crime”, “Free The Press”, “Stop Attacking Journalists” and many others.

While addressing his colleagues after the submission of a petition addressed to the IGP on the matter, Ogbeche urged the IGP to step up the intelligence and investigation team to unravel the mysterious disappearance of the journalist.

Read Also: NUJ FCT calls for immediate release of kidnapped Punch reporter

Ogbeche expressed displeasure at the way and manner the police have been handling the matter, adding that there was a need for the Police to give information on the whereabouts of the missing colleague since it was formally reported at the National Assembly police station immediately the unfortunate incident happened.

He lamented the harsh environment where the safety of journalists could no longer be guaranteed despite their constitutional role and responsibility of upholding the fundamental objectives of the constitution.

While receiving the protesters on behalf of IGP, the Police Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba, assured that the Police High Command was determined to unravel the mystery behind Tordue’s sudden disappearance, saying that a thorough investigation was in progress.

While appealing for caution on the matter so as not to jeopardise the ongoing investigation, he promised to brief the leadership of the union on the steps taken so far immediately the case was reported at the Police Post at the National Assembly.

According to him, “we are as concerned as journalists and members of the family. We have commenced an investigation and we have done everything humanly and technologically possible to ensure he is found. We have interrogated at least six persons and we have traced the places he visited after he left National Assembly.

“We have spoken with the last person he had an encounter with. We are imploring members of the family, public and journalists that this is an active investigation. We have a choice not to speak so as not to jeopardise our investigation. This has explained our silence over time.”

In her remarks, Chairperson of the House of Representatives Press Corps, Grace Ike, commended the journalists for turning out in large numbers in the search of their missing colleague.

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