London police called to arrest The Guardian’s reporter over Buhari
According to The Guardian, security staff at the Abuja House in London yesterday called in policemen to arrest one of their correspondents who was on the premises to see Pres. Buhari and possibly interview him.
When the correspondent told a member of staff at the Abuja House, the official residence of the Nigerian High commissioner to the U.K, that he had come to see the president, he replied: “As far as I’m concerned, he’s not here.”
At 2:50 p.m., when a black Mercedes jeep arrived, the occupant sitting by the driver rolled down the glass and asked the The Guardian correspondent, “why are you here?” “When I told him that l was a reporter with The Guardian and l had come to see if the president was there and to interview him, he looked quite irritated and replied angrily: ‘he’s not here, you can’t see anybody here.’ “
In an extraordinary move, two police officers were called in by the security staff at the Abuja House to arrest the reporter. When both arrived on their motorcycles, they took the reporter’s name and date of birth and subsequently made a check on the national database, before staying around for about 20 minutes and then left.
Prior to that, the security staff threatened the reporter with the police. A few minutes after The Guardian arrived at the Abuja House, just after 1:00 p.m., wanting to speak to the high commissioner, the reporter was directed to go to the Embassy- Nigerian House at Northumberland Avenue. “Somebody should be there,” he was told.
When The Guardian pressed the buzzer about five minutes later, the security man sounded angry and said: “You should realise this is a private place and I will call the police,” he said. When he was immediately corrected and told that the reporter was standing outside in a public place, he then said:” l won’t speak to you again.”
Another security officer came out shortly after and told the reporter to move away from the main gate. “Excuse me, you can’t just stand here,” he said. Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was also at Abuja House, a strong indication that Buhari may actually be there.