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Detained journalist’s wife collapses at NUJ press centre, says husband has terminal ailment


The Wife and children of detained Kogi Journalist, Mr Friday Ogungbemi yesterday raised alarm that their bread winner who had been in the custody of the Department of State Security services is suffering from a terminal ailment that can easily trigger his early death especially as he has been denied access to his immediate family.

The journalist who has been incarcerated since the last 8days was reportedly picked by the DSS on the orders of Governor Yahaya Bello over his publication in his community magazine, Policy and Law maker where he alleged he described the Chief of Staff to the governor, Edward David Onoja as the defacto Governor.

The wife who was at the NUJ Press Centre, Lokoja was found to have collapsed amidst sobs and tears.

The six children who have been traumatised since the arrest of the journalist have been finding it really Herculean to cope with life as their breadwinner had been taken away without notice and the DSS has barred family and friends from seeing the embattled journalist for more than seven days.

The wife, Mrs Comfort Ogungbemi, explained that three of the children were not able write their secondary school exams which started on Monday due to the despicable trauma the family has been thrown into.

She said last born of the Ogungbemis, Ayo, has been restless and sick as he keeps calling his Daddy intermittently without seeing him.

She said he was arrested with only his knickers and singlet and that the family members had to plead to no avail to the DSS operatives to allow him wear another clothe when they brought him back to the house on December 1st to search the house. She said copies of the magazines and some items were later removed from the house.

Meanwhile, the Kogi state council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists has called President Muhammadu Buhari to call Governor Yahaya Bello and the DSS to order saying the continuing detention of the journalist was at variance with the 1948 United Nation Charter on Human Right and the Constitution of Nigeria

In a communiqué issued Monday night after an emergency Congress , the NUJ which has earlier ordered the boycott of government activities in the state, condemned in strong term the continued detention of the journalist describing it as flagrant disregard to his fundamental rights .

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