On Tuesday, January 17, an Umuahia-based Radio/TV online station, ABN, was thrown into darkness after a guest, Mr Udensi Donald, who was on a live programme, was arrested by policemen.
Donald, who was live on a program “Youth Rendezvous”, was whisked away by policemen who broke into the studio of the station located in front of Matter Dei Cathedral, the headquarters of Catholic Diocese of Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
The officers, who brandished their identity cards on entering the live studio, initially refused to state the offense of the man they came to arrest but later said he was wanted because of a petition written by someone.
From a trending viral video on social media shared by some viewers, the staff of ABN and the guests were seen pleading with the policemen to allow the program to end or to explain his offense before arresting him.
The officers refused their plea and arrested the man, bringing the programme to an abrupt end.
Speaking to DAILY POST on Wednesday morning about the incident, the Director of ABN Radio/TV, Mr Ifeanyi Okali, decried the actions of the policemen, saying that microphone, laptop and camera were damaged during the struggle to arrest the guest.
He narrated that the invasion happened at about 2:40 pm on Tuesday, adding that the police claimed an elder brother to his guest wrote a petition against him over a family matter.
“We find this very provocative and indeed an act of overzealousness by the officers who obviously acted in clear contravention of rule of engagement.
“It clearly also negates the enhanced police-civil relations which the Commissioner of Police, CP Kene Onwuemelie, has consistently campaigned for,” he said.
Okali lamented that staff of ABN who were invited by the Abia State Police Commissioner to explain what happened, were allegedly harassed by police officers at the CP’s office who again threatened to arrest them.
He described the invasion as unprovoked, demanding the replacement of destroyed equipment and an apology from the Abia State Police Command.
The Command was yet to react to ABN management’s statement as the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Maureen Chinaka, did not pick her phone call and did not respond to messages sent to her at the time of writing this report.
VIDEO: Policemen Arrest Guest During Live TV Show in Abia— Punch Newspapers (@MobilePunch) January 17, 2024
Men of the Abia State Police Command were said to have invaded the ABN TV in Umuahia on Tuesday and forcibly arrested a guest, Mr. Udensi Donald, during a live programme "Youth Rendezvous." anchored by Grace Onyekachi.… pic.twitter.com/mb2blBhlna