Kidnapped Journalist Freed

The journalist with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) in Akure, Olubunmi Oke, who was kidnapped on Thursday, has been released.

Mrs Oke was reportedly returning from her office located along Ondo Road, Akure to her residence in Oba-Ile Housing Estate at the time of the incident.

“I confirm that she has been released. I spoke with her early this morning shortly after she was set free by her abductors,” Rotimi Obamuwagun, the vice president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, said.

“She is hale and hearty and happy to be back home,” he said.

Mrs Oke’s baby and maid were with her when she was kidnapped but were later released by her abductors, who took her alone to an unknown destination.

“She was set free and abandoned in a bush near Ondo town, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Akure from where she boarded a lorry home,” Mr Obamuwagun said.

It is unclear if any ransom was paid before she was released. The abductors had demanded N8million.

NTA Akure Journalist Kidnapped

A female journalist with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) in Akure, the Ondo state capital, has been kidnapped.

Olubunmi Oke was abducted on her way home from the office on Thursday by four unknown persons and taken to an unknown destination.

It was gathered that after overtaking her car and forcing it to stop, the men dragged Mrs Oke into their car, leaving her five month-old child and her house maid in her own vehicle.

While the management of the television station has refused to comment on the incident, the spokesman of the state police command, Wole Ogodo, also could not confirm the abduction, saying he had no permission to speak on it.

NUJ seeks editorial independence for NTA, FRCN and others

The Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ) has asked the national assembly to consider the review of the structure of ownership and control of public media houses in the on-going constitution amendment to give the organisations more editorial independence and make them more accountable to Nigerians.

Speaking at a dialogue of editors on the review of the 1999 Constitution, the president of the NUJ, Mr Muhammed Garba, stated that the review of the acts establishing these media houses have become imperative as there is a need to give them more editorial independence as well as make them more accountable to the Nigerian public and not the government.

The affected media organisations that will be affected with the review will be the Nigeria Television Authority, (NTA), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Others are the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) ACT

According to Mr Garba, parts of the Act that need change is the powers that allow the President to hire and fire in the various public media houses ,this he says will give the organisations more neutrality  in the job of discriminating information.

He also demanded a review of the laws on the establishment of media organisation in Nigeria, as he also sought for laws that will make provision for a better welfare for media practitioners.

Edo state seals more FG agencies over non-remittance of taxes

Edo State government has sealed up offices of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), National Population Commission (NPC) and the Niger Delta Development Company (NDDC) in Benin City over non-remittance of  taxes.

The state’s Board of Internal Revenue had earlier in the week sealed up the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Benin Zonal Centre, NABTEB, Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC), on Tuesday, all on the order of the Court.

The newly re-elected government of Adams Oshiomhole has embarked on aggressive tax drive just as it promised during the elections.

But the Chairman of the Edo State Board of Internal Revenue, Chief Oseni Elama maintained that they are just carrying out their routine exercise to raise funds to support the security agencies and fund the on-going infrastructural development in the state.

However the new zonal Director of NTA, Pauline Igbanor appealed to the state governor to give her time to work out modalities of payment with the management as she resumed office a day before the Station was sealed.

The national president of the Radio, Television and Theatre Workers Union (RATTAWU) who said they were in Benin City for its union meeting also appealed to the governor to reconsider and exhaust all channels of communication before embarking on the action.

Chief Elama however said they have been in discussion for some time and “that a government is a continuum” as he appealed to the people to continue paying their taxes to assist government fulfill their promises to them.