Commando style, officials of Sapele Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, invaded the Sapele office of Vanguard Newspaper, demanding for N100,000 on the alleged order of the council Chairman, Mr. Ejaife Odebala.
The invading council officials did not only beat up Vanguard’s Correspondent, Mr. Godwin Oghre, his T-shirt was also torn. The council officials ransacked the office and carted away mobile phones, documents and several personal effects, as well as some cash which total value was yet to be ascertained as at press time.
They claimed the N100,000 amount was owed the council by Vanguard. Vanguard’s Correspondent, who arrived the office few minutes before the council officials came, pleaded with them to approach the headquarters of the company to make their demand known. Recounting his ordeal, Oghre said he was later dragged into a waiting 18-seater Toyota Haice bus with no number plates.
According to him, he was dragged out of the vehicle and made to face what they described, as “Our Mobile Court,” manned by two men and two women in black suits, who they called “Our Judge.” The ‘judges’ ordered Oghre to drop another N20,000 or be forced into what they described as “Our Prison custody until you pay the debt on behalf of your company.”
He said he made frantic efforts to contact the council chairman, but his mobile line, 08033205878, rang several times, but was not answered. According to him, the state PDP Chairman, Chief Kingsley Esiso, who picked his line thrice, pleaded with the council workers on phone, but his plea fell on deaf ears.
Oghre added that as the angry council workers continued to beat him, he gave them another N20,000 which he said was the office collections for the week for change of name publication, which ought to be published today. Efforts to reach the council chairman were unsuccessful at press time.