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State Security after Nigerian journalist over report on face-off between Kyari and Monguno – News

A Nigerian journalist with Premium Times has reportedly gone into hiding following a report he wrote on the face-off between the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Abba Kyari, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, The Guardian NG reports.

Samuel Ogundipe, a Premium Times ace reporter, wrote a detailed report indicating power tussle within President Buhari’s inner circle.

According to the report published by the Premium Times NG, Monguno had in a leaked memo addressed to Buhari, accused Kyari of undue and dangerous interference on matters bordering on national security. Monguno also reportedly fired a warning memo to all service chiefs to desist from taking further directives from Mr Kyari, according to a document seen by Premium Times.

 “You are reminded that the Chief of Staff to the President is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country,” Monguno said in the leaked memo.

The Guardian NG, however, gathered that Ogundipe has gone into hiding since the DSS started asking him to provide the source of his information.

“His email and WhatsApp were hacked overnight by the people suspected to be DSS during the week,” a source informed the newspaper.

“They even went to his house in Abuja but he was not there.”

“We find it extremely disturbing that Nigerian Government through the DSS is moving to arrest Samuel Ogundipe over leaked NSA’s letter on Abba Kyari,” a civil rights organisation EiE said. “This campaign to harass, intimidate and silence journalists violates the core principles of democracy.”

The managing editor of Premium Times Idris Akinbanjo told ICIR that he was aware that the DSS was looking to arrest Ogundipe to identify the source of the memo which he cited in his report. He, however, said the journalist has not been arrested.

“We know that the DSS are desperate to identify our source for the story but we are reviewing the situation,” Akinbanjo said.

This is not the first time the Nigerian security agents will be harassing the Ogundipe to get the source of his reports

Recall that in August 2018, Ogundipe spent three days in a police cell after publishing the details of a report sent to the then acting president Yemi Osinbajo by the then inspector general of police, Ibrahim Idris, on events that took place at the National Assembly on August 7.

The police said Ogundipe was arrested for being in possession of classified information and demanded that he named his source.

Ogundipe, after his release, said he was kept in a “fetid cage” along with persons arrested for “violent crimes”.

“I spent three days in detention. But it was enough time for me to appreciate the precarious fate of journalism in Nigeria, despite nearly two decades of uninterrupted civil rule. I felt terrible to be incarcerated and isolated and accused of crimes that were clearly unfounded,” he said in 2018.


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