by crossriverwatch admin
Mr. Emmanuel Unah, a crossriverwatch freelance reporter who was arrested by detectives from the Cross River State CID headquarters, Diamond House, Calabar has been released on bail without his laptop.
Mr. Unah was arrested on the orders of the deputy governor of the state, Mr. Efiok Cobham on suspicion of writing a story alleging that the deputy governor commanded his wife to kneel down and apologize to his protocol officer.
Operatives from the police headquarters had stormed Mr. Unah’s home in the middle of last night and took him away for questioning. He was returned by armed policemen to his residence this afternoon where his home was thoroughly searched, his laptop seized and his e-mail invaded in what the police say was a search for a connection with crossriverwatch.
A civil society organization, Movement for the Empowerment of Cross River Peoples and a cross section of lawyers had earlier criticize the arrest and detention of the reporter urging the deputy to go to court and seek redress if he feels any story was published about him is libelous and not intimidate the press with security operatives.
Speaking earlier to crossriverwatch after his release, Mr. Unah said “I want to show appreciation for the solidarity that ensured my release. I understand a lot of people including lawyers like Barrister Obono Obla, Barrister James Ibor, Barrister Utum Eteng, colleagues in the pen profession and most importantly the editorial team of crossriverwatch made great efforts to ensure that I regain my freedom. I am grateful to every one of them for their effort.
“I was just released so this is not the right time to talk about it. Let me get home first and rest. But I assure the public that I will chronicle my experience for their reading pleasure and will continue to do my job as a journalist to the best of my ability without fear or favor”.
Barrister James Ibor, one of the many lawyers who secured his release told crossriverwatch that “The Nigeria Police is higher than the deputy governor. And it is refreshing to know that the police did not allow themselves to be used by the deputy governor. Emmanuel has been asked to report at the station on Monday because the police kept his laptop
“That is the tool with which he earns a living as a journalist and I expect that the police know that and will not want to keep it beyond Monday. We will wait to see what they come up with before we know the next course of action but we have several options in mind already”.
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