- The coverage of the sorting of sensitive material of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo and Kebbi was impossible on Tuesday, February 19
- This was as newsmen who came to cover the event at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)'s offices in both states were prevented by security officials
- The head of CBN's security in Kebbi, one Ajayi stopped journalists from gaining access into the apex bank's office, claiming that he was acting on order from above
Journalist in Owerri, Imo state capital, who were to cover the sorting of sensitive materials belonging to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, February 19, were prevented from doing so by security officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), The Guardian reports.
Newsmen affected by the security officials were Charles Ogugbuaja (The Guardian); Ndidi Okodili (The Nation); Chinazo Ilechukwu (FRCN) and Chidi Amadi (Imo State Broadcasting Corporation).
Before the move by the apex bank, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Professor Francis Chukwuemeka Ezeonu, had, through the electoral body's spokesperson, Emmanuella Ben-Opara, invited the journalists for the coverage which was to take place at INEC headquarters close to CBN’s office.
However, after much waiting, a directive was sent Ben- Opara, asking the journalists to return to their various offices as they will not be allowed to cover the event.
Meanwhile, a similar development happened in Kebbi where, after being invited by REC Ahmed Mahmud, journalists were denied access to into CBN's Office, the venue of the distribution of sensitive materials.
One Ajayi, believed to be the apex bank's security boss, claiming that he was acting based on orders from above, forced newsmen out of the vicinity.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that Suleiman Balarebe, the Enugu police commissioner on Tuesday, February 19, confirmed that elections materials had been retrieved and escorted to the CBN to be kept safely.
Suleiman said that the command will do its utmost to ensure the tight security during the rescheduled presidential and National Assembly elections, urging residents in the state to cooperate with the police for the success of the exercises.
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