Crime and Metro

Journalist Hospitalized After Detention Over Adaobi Alagwu’s Child Paternity Tussle

A journalist with News Guru, Ediri Oyibo, has been admitted in hospital for the last five days since his release from police detention after he was arrested for writing a report that Tunde Ayeni had denied paternity of Adaobi’s daughter.

It was learnt that Oyibo and another journalist, Paul Utebor, were detained for seven days after Adaobi wrote a petition against the journalists and submitted to the AIG Zone 7, Kayode Egbetokun, who has since been promoted to a DIG and tipped to become the next Inspector-General of Police.

The entire saga has since been condemned by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) which wondered how Adaobi was able to get the police to abuse the rights of innocent journalists and raid their houses.

Adaobi, who was a law school classmate to Tunde Ayeni’s daughter before their affair began, was reported to have gotten pregnant and given birth to a girl for the business magnate but things soon degenerated between the two lovers.

However, last December, News Guru reported that Ayeni had denied paternity of Adaobi’s daughter, a report which was said to have infuriated the Abuja big girl.

She subsequently wrote a petition to the AIG Zone 7. The police through a letter signed by DCP Kabiru Shehu dated February 15, 2023 invited Utebor and his supervisor, Oyibo, for an interview with the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Zonal Criminal Investigation Department after which they were detained.

In a first incident report signed by Adamu Sani, a police superintendent dated February 28, 2023 which was obtained by our correspondent, the police accused both Oyibo and Utebor of criminal defamation.

It read in part, “On the 10th day of February 2023, a petition addressed to the office of the Assistant-Inspector General of Police Zone 7 headquarters by Adewale Ojeleye Esq on behalf of Adaobi Alagwu ‘female’ against Paul Utebor and Ediri Oyibo both males with office at Sun City Estate Lokogoma FCT Abuja that both of you conspired among yourselves to commit defamation to the character and personality of the said complainant by publishing on an online news medium named News Guru.

“Complainant further stated that both defendant did publish a defamatory publication titled, ‘Who is the real father of Adaobi Alagwu daughter’ which was published on the 2nd day of December 2022 and further made another publication to wit ‘Tunde Ayeni Debunked the Paternity of Abuja Big Girl’ wherein you mentioned Adaobi Alagwu as having fatherless child which lowered her personality and ridiculed her.

“That when the complainant inquired why they wrote such defamatory publication which was false, they criminally intimidated her by promising to deal with her. During police investigation, it was discovered they actually committed the offences of criminal conspiracy, defamation of character and criminal intimidation contrary to Sections 97, 292 and 397 of the Panel Code Law.”

Court documents show that after the two journalists were arrested, the police obtained an ex parte order from a magistrate court in the FCT to detain them for seven days.

In the affidavit in support of the motion ex parte, the investigating police officer, SP Sani, did not attach a statement from Adaobi or her petition to the AIG.

Rather, he obtained the permission of Adaobi to depose on her behalf.

The affidavit read in part, “I have the consent of the complainant (Adaobi) to depose to this affidavit pending before this honourable court.

“That the above named office is investigating the above offences and investigation is not concluded sequel to which we seek a remand order for seven days to enable us conclude the investigation and arrest those at large.

“That if the defendants are released on bail or charged to court, it would jeopardize the investigation of this case.”

The journalists subsequently spent seven days in detention and were not given food by the police even as their families had to bring home cooked meals.

It was learnt that the court eventually granted bail to the journalists to the tune of N3m with two sureties in like sum.

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