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SSS storms Desert Herald Newspaper, arrests publisher

October 8, 2009

Image removed.A team of State Security Service (SSS) officials stormed the corporate headquarters of FUZA Communication Services Ltd, publishers of DESERT HERALD newspapers, at about 2:50pm on Friday, October 9, 2009 and arrested the publisher, Malam Tukur Mamu.

          The nine – man team, which includes middle – aged woman, said they came from their headquarters in Abuja, aboard two Peugeot 406 cars with registration numbers KADUNA AP 411 ZAR and OSUN AQ 84 GNN. They however, did not produce any search warrant, nor did they specify the reason for their visit.
          After ransacking the weekly newspaper’s office for about two hours, the SSS officials confiscated several documents and computer software, including all the materials for next week’s edition of the paper. Brandishing guns, they later took the DESERT HERALD publisher to his residence, which they also ransacked for some time before taking him to the SSS headquarters in Kaduna.
          As at the time of writing this release, Mamu was still being held incommunicado, as nobody was allowed to see him even as no information was given as to the reason(s) for the arrest. 
          Mr. Sonde Abbah, the newspaper’s Editor, who narrowly escaped being arrested along with Malam Mamu, declared in a Press Release that “the publisher’s arrest and the seizure of our property came as a surprise to us, given that we have not committed any crime to warrant such invasion.” He added: “We (management and staff of DESERT HERALD) wish to appeal to the government to release our publisher without further delay, more so as no charge has been preferred against him. If he is presumed to have committed any offence – and to the best of our knowledge he hasn’t committed any – he should be charged to Court immediately.
          It would be recalled that only a few months ago, security operatives also arrested Tukur Mamu after searching for unknown documents for more than 4 hours in both his office and residence.
Sonde Abbah
Ag. Editor

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