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Soldiers harass, detain Punch reporter taking pictures of Jonathan’s Bayelsa home

GEJ-Goodluck-Ebele-Jonathan
Some soldiers deployed to protect President Goodluck Jonathan’s private residence in Otuoke, Bayelsa state, on Thursday harassed and detained a Punch reporter, Simon Utebor, for attempting to take pictures of the president’s house.


Mr. Utebor was arrested by soldiers from the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta and handed over to the police at Otuoke Police Station.
Mr. Utebor was accosted by soldiers on guard duty while taking photographs of ongoing work on the palatial residence constructed while the president was in office.
Artisans were seen putting finishing touches to the premises consisting of multiple blocks of two storey buildings.
Mr. Jonathan is expected to be received on Friday by the Bayelsa Government at the Gabriel Okara Cultural Centre at 3p.m. and later in his Otuoke country home by his kinsmen.
When contacted the  spokesperson of the Joint Task Force, Isa Ado, a lieutenant colonel, confirmed the arrest and subsequent handing over of the Punch reporter to the police.
He said the JTF commander had already ordered the release of the journalist.
But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES in a brief telephone interview, Mr. Utebor said he was yet to regain his freedom.
“I have been transferred to the State CID, and I have written a statement on the incident and we are still waiting for the Police authorities,” Mr. Utebor said.
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