On Thursday, Delta State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Mr. Friday Ossai Osanebi allegedly ordered the kidnap of the Vice Chairman of the Delta State chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Felix Igbekoyi and 7 other journalists. 

Deputy Speaker Friday Osaai Osanebi

SaharaReporters learned the journalists were covering protests against the embattled Deputy Speaker for his alleged theft of N1.4 billion meant for youths and an oil exploration company, Sterling Global Oil Service over its alleged breach of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Last week protesters led by the Coalition of Ndokwa Youth Leaders accused the Deputy Speaker of stealing N1.4 billion intended for youth development programs.

When Deputy Speaker Osanebi learned of the arrival of the journalists he allegedly ordered his political thugs to ambush them. The members of the press were kidnapped during their ride from the Beneku community to the Okpai community.

The armed men threatened to set the bus conveying the journalists on fire unless they exited the vehicle. The thugs immediately robbed the assembled journalists of their laptops, cameras, ATM cards, and identity cards.  

The 8 journalists were then beaten by the armed men and accused of “spying” on their boss, Deputy Speaker Osanebi.  

At the time of filing this report, the precise location of the kidnapped newsmen is still unknown. Efforts to reach Deputy Speaker Osanebi were unsuccessful, as were efforts to contact his Press Secretary, Mr. Oyibosochukwu Nwabueze.

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