An attempt was made by two armed plain clothed security operatives on Saturday to forcibly gain access into the premises of Timbuktu Media, publishers of NEXT on Sunday and NEXT Daily, located on Kudirat Abiola Way, Oregun in Lagos.
At about 5.10 pm, two middle aged men dressed in button-up shirts arrived our premises in a gray coloured Honda car with plate number AA 736 AKN. The men, who originally introduced themselves as
Protocol Officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), demanded for copies of last Friday and Sunday editions.
They claimed they wanted to make some clarifications on a story published on the organisation. However, when they were given the Friday edition of NEXT, they said it wasn't what they were looking for and subsequently asked to be given a copy of this week's NEXT On Sunday. But the security personnel on duty explained that copies of the paper would not be available until the next day. This explanation got the men agitated and they attempted to gain entry into our premises by force, but were prevented by the police constable on guard.
In search of editors
The men, who were armed with automatic pistols, demanded to speak to any editor around. When their demands were not granted, they blocked the entrance to the premises with their car and threatened not to let anyone in or out. This was followed by a heated exchange of words between the man and the resilient constable. One of them claimed to be his superior, and said he could order the policemen on duty to vacate their duty post. When they realised that the security personnel on duty would not budge, they got into their car and left. One of them remained, however, to watch over the premises from across the road.
Some of the members of our staff who had gone to deliver copies of NEXT ON SUNDAY at the airport, and who had seen the car as it left our premises, claimed to have noticed the car trailing them from the airport.