16 September 1997


Newsagents arrested; copies of magazine impounded

Incident details



(IJC/IFEX) - Security operatives arrested and detained five
newsagents (main distributors), five sub-agents and many vendors
(newspaper hawkers) in Abuja, the federal capital, on 15
September 1997. They also impounded all copies of the magazine
"The News" displayed for sale in the city. Contingents of
security agents were said to have swooped on different newspaper
distribution points in the city to effect the arrest and

Those detained were released in the evening but asked to report
at the office of the State Security Service (SSS) again on 16

The government has made no comment on the issue. However, the
action may not be unconnected with this week's cover story of
"The News", entitled "Panic over Abacha's Illness", which reports
a deterioration in General Sani Abacha's health, plans for
overseas medical attention and a struggle for succession among
his aides.

The 7 July edition of "The News" had carried a cover, "Abacha is
sick"; last week's edition of "TELL" carried a similar cover,
"Abacha's Illness Worsens"; and "PM News", an afternoon daily,
carried another lead, "Abacha May Be Flown Out", on 11 September.


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