By Danjuma Lamido
In the past few weeks, the media has been agog with the arrest of Daniel and Tim Elombah; Publisher and Editor of elombah.com respectively.
The Online Publisher Association of Nigeria with majority of the members based abroad never find out the reasons behind the arrest of the Elombahs but rather went into intimidation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the Inspector General of Police.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists FCT Chapter joined the campaign against the detention of Tim Elombah without getting to the root of the matter.
The Nigeria Police as a responsible and reformed security agency did the right thing by going to the Mpape Magistrate Court to seek for detention of Tim Elombah, which will enable the Police to do further investigation on the initial one that made them to arrest the Elombahs.
From my preliminary investigation, it was the Intelligent Response Team (IRT) under the office of the Inspector General of Police that arrested the Elombahs as against the news going round that Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrested the Elombahs.
Secondly, Tim Elombah wrote the said “Investigative Reports” titled “IGP Ibrahim Idris’s Unending Baggage Of Controversies” using the pseudo name Ebiowei Dickson.
I read the said “Investigative Reports” published on the 25th December, 2017 via worldtopnewsng.com. The write up was full of mischievous and malicious aimed at damaging the image of Nigeria Police Force, the career of the amiable Inspector General of Police and the peaceful family of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris.
How can the IGP abandon his first wife because he took a second wife which he is entitled to under his religion? The IGP has not moved out of his official quarters as I am writing this opinion but the report said that “the IGP has abandoned his official quarters and relocated to Maitama”.
One of the most annoying part of the “Investigative Reports” is the part that said Mrs Astha Ibrahim Idris “collects between One Million Naira to Three Million Naira from conventional Police Officer who are desirous of conversion and becoming Mobile Commanders in Lagos and some other viable Squadrons”.
Another annoying part of the “Investigative Reports” is the part that says the “X Squad is indirectly under the direct control of Mrs Astha Ibrahim Idris. Who influenced the appointment of her erstwhile boyfriend, DCP Amaechi, a former Aide de Camp (ADC) to Late Mrs Stella Obasanjo, as its Commander”.
To rubbish the Nigeria Police Force, the “Investigative Reports” claimed that “To secure a contract or any other favour from the Police, the person(s) will have to pass through DSP Astha Idris, who is effectively the defacto IGP, On every contract secured through her influence, she makes between five to twenty percent of the total contract sum which is usually paid upfront in cash””.
It is a known fact that Police Contract is done through open bidding without the influence of the IGP and his management team. I wondered if Tim Elombah can identify anybody that has paid Mrs Astha Ibrahim Idris such cash upfront!
The conclusion of the “Investigative Reports” shows that Tim Elombah is doing the bidding of some powerful people aimed at bringing the name of the IGP down by saying “With all these embarrassment coming from the office of the Inspector General of Police, because of Ibrahim Idris’s actions, the question many are asking is why is President Buhari still keeping a man whose action have brought public odium to a respected institution and as well have ridiculed his avowed fight against corruption?”
The online media in other part of the World has been a blessing to the society but it seems in Nigeria, it is a curse as it has been over abused. I remembered joining the support for the regulation of the Online media by the National Assembly early 2017; I foresaw blackmails and Pull-Him-Down syndrome been perpetrated by the online media especially by those politically motivated Publishers.
I am happy that the Cyber Crime Act was enacted by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan; the headline would have been “Buhari Signed Bill To Kill Online/New Media”. The case of the Elombahs will be a lesson to other politically motivated publishers who might want to take advantage of 2019 elections to blackmail well respected public officials.
Blackmailing the Inspector General of Police with press releases, protest will not stop the Nigeria Police from getting to the conclusion of the prosecution of the Elombahs. The Law must take its course as the Cyber Crime Act was not signed into Law for fashion but for action.
Danjuma Lamido is the Publicicty Secretary of the Integrity Youth Alliance. firstname.lastname@example.org