Obong Ndutim, the publisher of an online news portal, FactsReporters.com, a local content publishing website, based in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, has been arrested by the Nigeria Police Force.
Checks revealed that men of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested him in the early hours of Monday, 3rd December, 2018.
The spokesperson for the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, DSP Odiko MacDon confirmed the arrest.
Odiko said Obong Ndutim was arrested in connection with the alleged publishing of fake and damaging stories-cum-blackmailing of a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Godswill Akpabio.
It was gathered that the arrest followed a petition written by Senator Akpabio, alleging that Obong Ndutim’s website published an offensive and libelous story, in which it was alleged that the Senator was involved in money laundering with some Nigerian banks: titled ‘CBN probes Akpabio’s N865b unrecorded despites in three banks.’
The police said the senator had earlier filed a complaint against the accused at the Uyo Police Command weeks back. ‘Based on the statement and published story by the accused, we have thus arrested him at his residence on Monday,” a senior police officer said.
An insider also added that Obong Ndutim’s platform, FactsReporters.com had been used as tool to fuel negative information to the public to propagate false allegations on Senator Akpabio and his political associates.
‘This is not the first story; there are several other news mentions published on the platform ditto: Akpabio, Ekere plot to sponsor attack on Gov’s billboards, instigate insecurity uncovered, published on October 25, 2018 by Michael Asanga. Mr Emmanuel: Senator Akpabio is set to destroy Oro Nation; published on October 8, 2018, by Ulap Kingsley Offiong. Essien Udim chaos,Akpabio abducts AKHA aspirant for opposing cult group; published on October 3, 2018 by Editor; Senator Godswill Akpabio: The Demystification of a Political Godfather; published on August 13, 2018 by Ikennna Ekezie, from Port Harcourt’, the source disclosed.
Obong is presently being remanded in police custody, awaiting prosecution in a court of normal jurisdiction. “If found guilty, will be sentenced in line with the Nigeria’s Constitution”, police authorities averred.