Suspected DSS officials on Sunday morning, March 1, breached the security of the Abuja residence of Muskilu Mojeed, the Editor-in-Chief of the PREMIUM TIMES, a Nigerian online news platform.
The Witness understands that a report by The ICIR said men suspected to be officers of the State Security Service (SSS) in plain-clothes men who drove in a Camry car (Muzzle brand) arrived the house on Sunday morning and told Haulat, the wife who answered the knock on the gate, that they had a message for her journalist husband, requesting that she opened the gate to receive the message.
Quoting a source close to the family, The ICIR said strangers had told the wife of the PREMIUM TIMES editor that they knew that the husband was not at home but insisted that they had a “very important message” to deliver to him and persuaded her to open the gate to receive it but she instead asked them to pass the message through the opening in the gate.
According to the report, the two suspected SSS officials, one wearing a T-shirt and the other in a corporate suit, pressed further, insisting that she had to open the gate and sign for the message they came to deliver but Haulat maintained she could receive and sign for the message without opening the gate.
Noticing that the men were adamant, it was learned that the wife of the PREMIUM TIMES editor told the men that she would have to go inside the house to phone her husband and ask for permission before she could open the gate. It was at this time, the source said, that the men turned and left, driving off in a heavily tinted black Camry car.
Meanwhile, The Witness understands that the development is coming after PREMIUM TIMES had on Saturday, February 29, reported that SSS has launched a manhunt for a reporter of the PREMIUM TIMES, Samuel Ogundipe over an exclusive report which exposed the rift between the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to The ICIR, sources at the presidency confirmed that the kitchen cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari were very angry over the matter and had sworn to make Ogundipe reveal the identity of his sources.
Idris Akinbajo, PREMIUM TIMES editor, confirmed yesterday that the reporter is concerned about his safety and has since then gone into hiding.
On the other hand, Editor-in-Chief of the PREMIUM TIMES, who is currently outside the country told The ICIR that the harassment of his wife by the Nigerian secret police is a confirmation of the government’s war against PREMIUM TIMES.
“The encounter has left my wife traumatized,” he opined.
PREMIUM TIMES management, in a reaction Sunday, said “in an age of widespread kidnapping it adds no value to the image of security officials to play by the protocols of nefarious actors in the community, visiting the homes of citizens and making up stories about dropping messages for them or threatening them through anonymous calls.
“We have asked our lawyers to take up the matter from here,” the statement stated and asked its staff to be more watchful of unusual movements around them and promptly report to authorities.