Security Agents Briefly Shut Radio Station, Detain
On 17 December 2005, armed policemen and agents of the State Security
Service (SSS), Nigeria's intelligence service, shut down a privately-owned
radio station, Rhythm 93.7 FM, in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers State
in the oil-rich Niger Delta. The security agents also arrested David Obi,
Head of News, and Loknan Dombim, Programmes Manager, of the station and
detained them overnight.
The station, which was re-opened hours later, was accused of broadcasting
false information, in which it allegedly reported that the Choba Bridge on
the outskirts of the city had collapsed, thereby causing panic among
residents. The bridge is reported to be intact.
The Rivers State Commissioner of Information, Mr. Magnus Abe, in a
statement in the night of 17 December criticized the "broadcast of false
information" by the station and promised that the government would deal
with such broadcast of falsehood.
But the station has denied reporting that the bridge collapsed.
Azubuike Osumili, news editor at the Lagos office of Rhythm 93.7 FM, told
Media Rights Agenda that the two journalists arrested and detained by the
SSS were released on 18 December but asked to be reporting to the SSS