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Whereabouts of abducted Anambra journalist unknown two weeks after

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CISLAC condemns Sherrif’s arrest, demands immediate release
Lawmaker demands removal of checkpoints, alleges extortion
Resident doctors embark on strike over alleged diversion of funds

The whereabouts of a journalist with the Anambra Newspapers and Publishing Corporation (ANPC), publishers of National Light and Sports Light Newspapers, Matthew Onwuasoanya, who was abducted at his residence in Ngodo, Nise on May 30, 2020 is still unknown.

An eyewitness told The Guardian that unknown gunmen in security uniform abducted Onwuasoanya (49) at 2 a.m. on May 30 in a white Hilux truck and a Highlander.

His brother, Oliver Onwuasonya, who visited his the ANPC to inform his employers of the development after reporting the matter at a police station, confirmed to journalists that Matthew’s whereabouts was still not ascertained.

In a statement issued by Chairman of the Anambra State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Emma Ifesinachi and Secretary, Emma Udeagha confirmed the story.

They said Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ANPC, Chuka Nnabuife, informed the union about the missing journalist at a stakeholders’ meeting.

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Also, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) condemned the incessant disregard for democratic values and unbridled violation of citizens’ rights in Nigeria.

It stated this while reacting to the arrest of Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Coalition of Northern Youths, Nasturah Ashir Sherrif in Abuja for protesting against bandits’ attack in Katsina State.

In a statement its Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani said, “We condemn deployment of armed forces and arbitrary arrest that creates tension and threatens civil liberty in the country; as recently observed in the case of Sherrif.”

Besides, representative of Awka-North constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, John Okoye has canvassed immediate dismantling of the checkpoint at Umuji Village, Ebenebe Community, alleging extortion and violation of inter-state travel ban.

He expressed concern that checkpoints now served as easy thoroughfare for violators, especially some commercial vehicle operators who go in and out of the state from neighbouring Ezeagu area of Enugu State, alleging that they pay as much as N10, 000 to compromise security officers manning the inter-state border.

Addressing newsmen in Awka yesterday, Okoye also expressed worry on the health hazards to residents, lamenting that the development had put people in the area and commuters at great risk of contracting the COVID-19 pandemic and that entry points had become money spinning venture to those manning them.

Meanwhile, Anambra State chapter of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu Teaching Hospital (COOUTH), Amaku, Awka, Anambra State branch have embarked on an indefinite strike.

In a statement issued by the President, Dr. Obinna Aniagboso and Secretary, Dr. Chidiebele Egolum, the association hinged its directive on alleged diversion of COVID-19 funds by politicians.

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