Department of State Services (DSS) has denied reports that Channels Television journalists were arrested and are in their custody.
Earlier on Thursday, there were unconfirmed reports that two journalists working with Channels Television were allegedly arrested by the DSS over a recent interview on President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, later on reports emerged that the journalists were invited by NBC and not arrested as circulated.
The reports of the arrest came amid a query issued to Channels TV by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) over a recent interview which featured Samuel Ortom, governor of Benue.
However denying the arrest, Peter Afunanya, spokesman to DSS, said no journalist was taken into custody.
The statement reads;
The attention of the DSS has been drawn to news making the rounds in some sections of the media that its operatives earlier today (26th August, 2021) arrested two (2) journalists of Channels Television. This is false and misleading. Fake news peddlers should shun the act.
While appearing as a guest on Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Ortom criticised the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in its handling of security matters.
He accused President Muhammadu Buhari of trying to “Fulanise” Nigeria, describing his administration as the worst in handling security matters.
Ortom said he was disappointed at the way the president has handled certain critical matters in the country, especially insecurity.
The Benue Governor also noted that the federal government’s decision to review grazing reserves across the country is “unconstitutional”.
Ortom had said;
I’m disappointed with the presidency. One would expect that we’re in a democratic governance and the presidency would have understood this. I think Mr President was misquoted or he did it out of error. He should come out to apologise to Nigerians. There is no basis whatsoever for this to be going on when we have the Constitution.
Also interviewed on ChannelsTV was a former Nigerian Navy officer, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi (retd.) who claimed that the FG is aware of those sponsoring Boko Haram and other terrorists.
He alleged that;
Some people just want this country to be Islamised. We have never been this polarised & if we are not careful we will go down the precipice.
However, in a letter signed by Balarabe Ilelah, its director-general, and dated August 24, the NBC accused the station of not being thorough in its interrogation, and described the governor’s comments as “divisive, inciting and unfair”.
The NBC also said Channels TV violated six of its codes during the broadcast of the interview.
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