– Lagos state police have arrested 10 men for publishing materials consider as seditious
– The men are reposnsible for publishing a magazine called Biafra Times
– The police said men were arrested along 515 copies of the magazine
The Lagos state police command has arrested 10 people allegedly accused of publishing materials which are reportedly inciting.
The men who were allegedly members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) were arrested on the night of Sunday, January and accused of publishing a magazine called Biafra Times, which is allegedly likely to cause civil disorder and incite violence in the country.
According to This Day, the materials are being published in a room converted to a publishing house at no 33, Oguntolu Street, Somolu, Lagos state.
The printing press owner, while defending himself told pressmen that: “I am not aware that my publication is seditious. I only saw it from a commercial point of view.
“I started three months ago and my print run per week is between 6,000 to 7,000 copies and I distribute to vendors at N60, while they sell it at N100.
“I was trying to recoup the money I spent on setting up the printing press. I bought the four printing machines at N2.1 million each.
“Before I started publishing Biafra Times, I had another publication called Ace but I noticed that anytime I print anything on Biafra, my print run sells out. That was when I decided to focus on Biafra Times.”
“I am not necessarily a Biafran member, I merely cashed in on the situation at hand to make money.”
While parading the suspects, the commissioner of police, Lagos state police command, Fatai Owoseni, said they will be charged to court same day.
He said: “When we got the intelligence report, a team of policemen were quickly sent to the address and they found a printing press where Biafra Times was being published.
“We arrested 10 people and seized the plates and 515 copies of the print run. It’s an offence punishable under the criminal law of Lagos State under Section 105, which deals with obscene publications.
“Also, Section 401 captures offences relating to terrorism. It is punishable under the Criminal Code, a Federal law under the chapters that deals with seditious report.
“The exhibits are in police custody and the police worked throughout the night to interrogate them and we have liaised with the Attorney General of the state on the situation.”
Meanwhile, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has denied claims that some politicians are sponsoring its struggle for the freedom of Biafra.
The group said report making ground that the group’s activities are being sponsored by some Nigerian politicians is false and baseless.
A statement signed by the IPOB spokesperson Emma Nmezu and Clifford Iroanya said the report showcases the prominence of brown envelope journalism in Nigeria.