Inspector general of police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba has said that the force will ensure it unravels the disappearance of Vanguard Newspaper’s National Assembly reporter, Tordue Salem.
Salem has been missing since 13th October 2021 but the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abuja chapter yesterday stormed the force headquarters asking the police to act fast and locate his whereabouts.
The journalists gathered in front of Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development carrying placards with various inscriptions such as, “Journalism is not a Crime, “Free Tordue now”, “Enough is enough”, “Stop violence against journalists”, “Free the press,” “Journalists’ lives matter” among others.
The journalists sang “We want Tordue back alive!” as they marched to the force headquarters where they were received by the representative of the IGP, force public relations officer, Frank Mba.
The IGP said everything humanly and operationally possible will be done on the issue.
Frank Mba who relayed the IGP’s statement, said: “I am here on behalf of the IGP, first of all to appreciate your visit, your concerns, your love for your colleague, and the deep sense of esprit de coup existing amongst you.
“Indeed, the case of Tordue Salem was reported at the National Assembly police station on 15 October, 12.
“Salem slept in the house of the sister on the 12, worked up on the morning of 13 October, 2021 around life camp, took a bolt or Uber as you may call it to his work place.
He was last seen at the National Assembly between 4 and 5pm on the 13. Thereafter his colleagues never got to see him again,” Mba said.
“On 15 October, the matter was formally reported at the National Assembly Police station, the attention of the commissioner of police was drawn as well as the office of the IGP.
“A very firm instruction was given by the IGP that no moment or material resource should be spared to unravel the rationale behind his appearance. As I speak to you, we’ve made significant progress on the investigation,” Mba said.
According to the police spokesman, he was glad the chairman of the council, Emmanuel Ogbeche understood the need for confidential briefing, which he said the police have been doing on the matter.
“We have been able to visit places he visited after he left the National Assembly. We’ve been able to interact with the young lady who spent time with him that night, we have the records of the last call he made, we’ve spoken with about six different persons whom he spoke to that night, and there are lot of efforts behind the scenes taking place,” Mba said, assuring that they would get to the root of the matter.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of the Abuja chapter of the NUJ, Emmanuel Ogbeche, while handing over a petition for onward delivery to the IGP, said the incident is of concern to journalists and urged the police to do everything possible to rescue Salem alive.