From left: Ona of Abaji, Alhaji Adamu Yunusa; I-G Ibrahim Idris; and DIG in-charge of ICT, Foluso Adebanjo. Photo: Johnson Udeani/BJO/NAN/FILE

The Benue Police Command has arrested Emmanuel Atswen, a reporter of the News Agency of Nigeria, for reporting IDPs protest at the International Market camp in Makurdi.

The internally displaced persons on 12 September protested against alleged diversion of relief materials and blocked the main entrance into their camp.

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Atswen was said to have beeen at the camp when the protest took place. He reportedly filed the story and took still and video pictures of the protesters.

The journalist, who was arrested on Friday in Makurdi, is being accused of ”defamation of character and falsehood”.

NAN reports that the police officer investigating the case turned down pleas by journalists and lawyers to release Atswen on bail, and ignored arguments that the offences he was being charged with were bailable.

NAN also reports that prior to Atswen’s arrest, the SEMA boss had petitioned NAN over the same story, demanding N3 billion as damages, even though neither his name nor his agency were mentioned in the report.