Operatives from the Abia State Police Command were claimed to have stormed ABN TV in Umuahia on Tuesday and forcibly arrested a guest, Mr. Udensi Donald, during a live broadcast of “Youth Rendezvous,” hosted by Grace Onyekachi.
Ifeanyi Okali, Director of ABN TV/Radio, confirmed this in a Facebook post on Wednesday.
Okali denounced the incursion as a threat to press freedom and human rights.
He said, “We are worried by the invasion of our broadcast station in Umuahia by officers of the Nigerian Police, Umuahia Area Command in Abia State.
“At about 2:40 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16, 2023, the policemen invaded our station during a live program to arrest our guest, Mr. Udensi Donald, during a program called Youth Rendezvous.
“The police claimed a senior brother of the guest, Mr. Uche Onwuka Udensi, had written a petition against him over a family matter.
“Despite repeated pleas by our staff to the officers to allow the program to come to an end before the guest could be arrested, they insisted on whisking him away while the live program was on.
“We find this very provocative and indeed an act of overzealousness by the officers, who obviously acted in clear contravention of the rule of engagement.
“It clearly also negates the enhanced police-civil relations that the Commissioner of Police, CP Kene Onwuemeile, has consistently campaigned for.”
Okali said that during the invasion, some station property was damaged.
Furthermore, he demanded an apology from the State Command.