World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigeria police have arrested 10 people for allegedly publishing and circulating a secessionist tabloid Biafra Times.
Biafra refers to the secessionist bid of the Igbo ethnic group of Nigeria’s southeastern region.
“The printing press has been shut down and the environment is being monitored. This is an offense punishable under the Criminal Law of Lagos State,” Lagos Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni told reporters in southwestern Lagos Monday.
Owoseni called the publication “seditious and malicious” and said the suspects would face charges in court.
Peter Eke, publisher of the tabloid, denied being a member of any secessionist movement.
“I decided to specialize in the Biafra Times when I discovered it is always a sellout anytime we published stories about the eastern parts of the country,” he said as police paraded him and the nine other suspects.
“We usually print about 5,000 copies,” he added.
Agitations over Biafra, a secessionist state that was the cause of a 30-month civil war in 1967, have risen in recent months. Its main proponent, Nnamdi Kanu, is being tried for treason and leading an unlawful organization -- the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a secessionist movement.