The Publisher of National Trail Newspaper, Inuwa Bwala has been arrested by a team of the Nigerian Police, led by the AC Criminal Investigation Department, Borno Police Command.
Bwala was reportedly arrested on Tuesday, January 17, along with his driver shortly after he arrived his office premises located at Area 11, Garki District, Abuja, by policemen who wore SARS uniforms.
He was reportedly moved down to Maiduguri on Wednesday, January 18.
Initial reports had it that the journalist cum politician, who is also the media aide to the factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff, was arrested on the orders of the state government apparently for his critical reportage of events in Borno state via his newspaper, National Trail.
But the Police said Bwala’s arrest was sequel to a petition written against him by the Borno State Deputy Governor Usman Durkwa.
According to the petition, Durkwa alleged that Bwala had mobilized youths in Marama, a town in Hawul local government area in Borno State, to kill him on the eve of the 2015 general elections.
The youths were said to have beaten Durkwa to a pulp, leaving him for dead in the pool of his blood.
However, a source who pleaded anonymity claimed that Bwala had not visited Marama where the Deputy Governor was beaten up.
The source also wondered why the arrest is coming now, almost two years after the incident and at a time Durkwa has been made the Deputy Governor, adding that it was a clear case of political vendetta.
Meanwhile, another source, who also pleaded anonymity told icirnigeria.org that “It’s true he (Bwala) was arrested in connection with a case of attempted murder in 2015.”
According to this source, both Bwala, and the Deputy Governor, Durkwa, hail from Hawul local government, where Durkwa was the leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, while Bwala is of the PDP.
The source confirmed that both men were bitter rivals and never saw eye to eye perhaps for control of the local government area.
The source said: “Some youths in Marama, a town in Hawul local government area in Borno State, attacked the Deputy Governor, when he was Commissioner of Poverty alleviation, in 2015.
“The youths left him in the pool of his blood, everyone thought he was dead.
“Inuwa Bwala actually hails from Marama and was an arrow head for the PDP while the Deputy Governor who also hails from Hawul local government as Inuwa, was of the APC.
“I think the youths were apprehended, prosecuted and convicted by the court. Apparently, they indicted him as being the sponsor.”
The source added that “Inuwa and the Deputy Governor were bitter rivals, they hated each other with passion even when Inuwa was still in APC, mainly for control of the local government area.
“I suspect the police has evidence he orchestrated the attempted murder. This is the much I know.”
Bwala is reportedly still being detained at the CID office in Maiduguri as at time of this report.