Soldiers of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army and the personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS), Edo State command, have denied arresting and molesting 10 journalists in Benin City, the Edo State capital, contrary to reports by the online media.
They recalled that sequel to the prevailing security situation in the state which led to the postponement of the earlier scheduled governorship election in Edo State, there were credible security reports that some unpatriotic people have hired hoodlums with the intention of causing mayhem during the forthcoming election in the state.
The reports, they said, further showed that the suspected hoodlums have been lodged in some hotels within Benin City and its environs, prompting the DSS in conjunction with the troops of 4 Brigade ,Nigerian Army, to carry out cordon and search operations in the areas.
“This led to the arrest of 10 suspected people in one of the hotels. Among the suspects arrested was a deserted soldier,” a statement by the army acting spokesman, Sani Usman, said.
The spokesman said that it was pertinent to state that none of the arrested suspects identified himself as a journalist or mentioned the media he reports for, contrary to the allegations of the online media.
He said in addition, quite a number of incriminating items including, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sensitive materials were recovered from them.
“That notwithstanding, all the suspects were treated in the most dignified manner, which has always been in accordance with our tradition.”