A popular broadcast journalist, Chinonso Uba, popularly known as NonsoNkwa, has been kidnapped by gun-wielding plain-clothes men suspected to be operatives of the Department of State Services in Owerri, Imo State.
Uba was on Thursday accosted by heavily armed masked men shortly after he finished anchoring his morning programme on Ozisa FM, Owerri on the premises of Assumpta Cathedral of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese.
He was driving in his SUV when the attackers double-crossed him in front of Holy Ghost College Secondary School junction.
The journalist is a known critic of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s government in Imo State, particularly regarding the insecurity in the state.
An eyewitness said that the gunmen operated in a Hilux vehicle, a Lexus 350 and another identified as ES 330.
The source said the gunmen forced the activist, who is also the coordinator of ‘Protect the Weak International Foundation (PROWIF), a human rights group, into one of their vehicles and sped off.
His vehicle was abandoned at the scene as people rushed in an attempt to rescue him but were scared away by the attackers.
The source said, “Unknown people armed with AK-47 rifles have abducted my colleague, Theodore Chinonso Uba, NonsoNkwa of Ozisa 96.1FM, Owerri. This was 30 minutes ago in front of the Maria Assumpta Cathedral, Owerri on his way out after work this morning.
“Eyewitnesses said they looked like police or DSS as they blocked him off with not less than two vehicles at the entrance of the cathedral.”
“He has been very critical of Governor Hope Uzodinma, as well as the killings in Imo State,” another source added.
“He resisted them as he was shouting; they wanted to kill him before he was taken away in one of their vehicles. His jeep was not taken away alongside him. They were all dressed in black and blue attires, carrying guns while they were masked. They prevented people from making video of the incident. Let nothing happen to him please.”
The manager of Ozisa FM, Rev Fr Raymond Nzereogu, who confirmed the incident, said he was yet to ascertain if the journalist was arrested or kidnapped.
The priest said, “We don’t know if he was arrested or kidnapped. We have reached out to the State Security Service people and they said that they were not responsible. We are heading to the police to confirm. We will keep you posted on any further development.”
Imo police spokesperson, Henry Okoye, had yet to respond to enquiries at the time of filing this report.