Today, 10th August 2021 at about 08:23am I was woken up with knocks on my front door, by officers of the Anti Cultism police unit, in their numbers fully armed (with guns and matchetes). On enquiring the reason for their coming, I was told that they got a distress call from my neighbor
*Barr Emmanuel Abiebem* (who by all accounts is a senior police prosecutor), who called his colleagues at the anti-cultism unit, to complain that I refused to drive out my car for him to go out in the morning and in so doing according to him, constituted a threat to his life).
At this point, I should provide this backstory… Emmanuel Abiebem is a much older male family man and I a young single female, live in the same compound with other families and share a narrow parking space where cars line up with the last person to drive in, parking closest to the gate. I am usually the last person to get in late after leaving the office. Usually, since it’s a close knit compound, the first person to want to drive out in the morning, calls out to the others to come move their cars outside and we all do
Back to the events of today…
The officers asked that I follow them in their vehicle to their office (at that time, some of them had recognized me as a journalist). They spoke calmly to me and I asked that they drive behind me while one one of their officials joined me in my car and we drove to their office at the Cultural Center.
On getting to Cultural Center, I explained calmly what I knew, after which *Barr Emmanuel Abiebem* insisted loudly that he would teach me a lesson by proceeding with “the case” to court.
At that point I called a lawyer and sent out a distress call/texts to colleagues and family; Seeing as my neighbor who called for my arrest, was among his colleagues and I was by myself.
It was as though while the arresting officers were trying to resolve what was clearly a non-issue, Emmanuel Abiebem was intent on “dealing with me” . The other police officers on the other hand, were trying to calm him down and resolve the issue. Special mention must be made of commander Awodi who described it as a misunderstanding and said there was no proper case. At this point, *Barr Emmanuel Abiebem* and I had both written our statements.
Soon afterwards, there was a large turn out of journalists (OAPs and Heads of Stations) and lawyers and I was let go.
It is also important to note that I was in no way physically harassed or tortured by the officers of the Anti-cultism unit.
The trauma of having armed persons wake me from sleep this morning, has refused to leave. Barr Emmanuel Abiebem trumped up allegations and I wonder what the story would have been if I wasn’t a known journalist.
I don’t know for sure but I would rather let the general public know the facts of what transpired now, than wait to become a statistic. Our landlord has also been duly notified.
I want to sincerely thank my colleagues and bosses in the media who came out today, those who made calls.
I also thank the lawyers even those from outside CRS, who rallied around to ensure that justice and my safety
I thank the men and officers of the anti-cultism unit for their handling of the matter.
The Nigeria 🇳🇬 we want to build is not going to come about by wishing alone, but the actions of today have reinforced my belief in the power of the media and a free press, the impartiality of Justice, and renewed faith in the Nigerian Police. We all have to play our part and not allow any individual rubbish the institutions that collectively, make Nigeria work for the interest of the citizenry. Thank you.