Following the allegation of selling Biafra Tabloids and other Biafra and IPOB related stories, security men, had raided the popular Rotobi area noted for newspaper distribution and arrested some vendors and distribution agents.
The raid followed a similar arrest of a New Telegraph sales representative, Chuks Ugwuibe.
Ugwuibe was arrested along Banana Junction in Orlu after he had gone to reconcile his sales with the vendors.
He was said to have been whisked away last week with some other vendors and had been held incommunicado since then.
Even his family had not been told where and why he was arrested.
The security agents were said to have gone to Rotobi, taking Ugwuibe with them, and ransacked the whole area and arrested two sales representatives and two vendors.
The situation was said to have sent jitters down the spine of newspaper distributors in Owerri, who quickly closed shops and ran away.
A vendor, who spoke to our correspondent, anonymously, said that the men did not disclose their identities.
“They first came on Saturday with the New Telegraph sales representative arrested last week. This morning, again, they came, ransacked the whole building and arrested two sales representatives and two vendors.
“They were looking for papers, they said, that carried bad news about the government. They were just arresting everybody arbitrarily. All of us are afraid,” he said.
The police operatives were said to have swooped on the vendors on Monday morning at their base located at Number 5 Rotobi Street, Douglas Road, Owerri, as the circulation of the day’s newspapers was ongoing.
Other vendors and distribution agents, who ran away, told journalists that the gun-wielding police operatives accused them of circulating newspaper publications that had stories on the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra and that were “anti- state.”
One of the vendors who escaped the arrest said, “As we were circulating our newspapers for the Monday edition, policemen putting on jackets that had IRT inscription swooped on us and started arresting us. The ones they took away were the ones that carried IPOB stories and the ones they said were against the government.”
Some of the vendors and distribution agents the IGP’S team arrested were Nnamso Okoro, Nelson Enyiama, Blessing Isinwa, Onyebuchi Iwundu and Michael.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Abutu Yaro, said that the operatives were not from his command.