Nigeria's Secret Police, DSS, holds a radio worker without trial for two months for broadcasting an "offensive song" against Imo Governor Uzodinma.


Uzomah works in the station's technical department, which is owned by IBC, which is a media organisation that is controlled by the State Government. Casmir Uzomah, a radio worker in the state of Imo who has been jailed without charge for the last two months by the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria's secret police, has been arrested and detained by the DSS. According to reports, Uzomah, a member of the staff at the Orient Radio-Television Station, which is run by the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), was taken into custody after the station broadcasted a song that was deemed "offensive" to the Governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma. The song was played on the station. Uzomah works in the station's technical department, which is owned by IBC, which is a media organisation that is controlled by the State Government. Onyinyechi, Uzomah's wife, spoke to the International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) about the plight of her husband and the degrading treatment to which he has been subjected since his arrest on August 4. She pleaded with Nigerians and members of the international community to put pressure on the government of Imo and the DSS to release her husband. Uzomah was arrested on August 4 and has been held in degrading conditions since. They need to release my spouse as soon as possible. I am not currently employed, and yet it is imperative that my children attend class. They claimed that he had played a song in which the governor was insulted. Mrs Onyinyechi, who is a mother of five children, stated, "Since then, I have not seen him."

On that day, my sister-in-law contacted me and informed me that the authorities had taken my husband into custody. She said that it was my responsibility to look after the youngsters. Since then, calls to his phone have not been getting through," she continued, revealing that her husband's older sister had gone to the DSS office many times, but they wouldn't let her see him. "Calls to his phone have not been going through since then."

She said that "they didn't let anyone to see him." [citation needed]

Chidi Uzomah, the older brother of the imprisoned radio worker, said that his brother was still in the custody of the DSS and that he did not know when he would be freed. Chidi Uzomah added that he did not know when his brother would be released. Casmir is still being held at the DSS facility at this time. On August 4, 2022, he received an invitation from DSS in response to an enquiry that was sent to him by Declan Emelumba, the Commissioner of Information for the state of Imo. According to ICIR's report, he was recently reported as saying that "since then, he has been imprisoned by DSS, and all attempts to free him have not succeeded."

Chidi had written to the Commissioner of Information, copied HRH Eze Okeke Eze, copied the head of the Ministry of Information, copied the Director General of the Information and Broadcasting Commission, and equally met with the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Diocese, His Grace Lucius Ugorji to intervene and talk with the governor, but "yet no way" was the response Chidi received.

"On Monday, October 3, 2022, I personally wrote a letter to the director of DSS, and I delivered that letter to him on that same day. When our client was detained at the beginning of August, our attorney (also) submitted a written request for bail. Yet no reaction," he remarked. Jerry Osuji, who is the President of the Group of Imo State Radio and Television Presenters, said that the association was doing all in its power to secure the journalist's release.

"I have discussed this matter with the DG IBC. He gave me his word that he is interested in finding out how much music was played on the station, he added. Osuji, who also works at the same station as Uzomah, said that he had organised personnel at the station to go to the DSS office in an effort to see the jailed radio worker, but that they were unsuccessful in their efforts. According to Emelumba, the information commissioner in the state of Imo, the song that Mr Uzomah played that resulted in his imprisonment by the DSS was "extremely rude and defamatory." I heard that he played a song on IBC that was highly unpleasant and called the governor a murderer. I heard this from a friend.

This individual just performed a song in which it is said that the governor is a killer and that blood is gushing from his hand. He said that even NBC had questioned the IBC about why they were playing such a song. It has been revealed to me that he took the music from the outside and played it on the radio station. However, I bear no responsibility for his imprisonment in any manner. What might possibly be his reason for acting in such a manner?

The commissioner said that the state administration was innocent of any involvement in his detention. Wilcox Idaminabo, the Director of the SSS in Imo, had previously said that he would reply to inquiries on the arrest on Wednesday, but as of Saturday evening, he had not done so.


Culled:https://saharareporters.com/2022/10/08/nigerias-secret-police-dss-detains-radio-worker-two-months-without-trial-airing

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