LEADERSHIP Newspapers Group has petitioned the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Senator Bala Mohammed over the forceful removal of security barriers at its headquarters on Ibrahim Tahir Lane Utako, on Wednesday by officials of the development control department of the FCT administration.
The newspaper, in the petition, signed by the Group Managing Director, Azubuike Ishiekwene and copied to the National Security Adviser, the Inspector General of Police, Director-General State Security Service and the Commissioner of Police, FCT said the action of the development control has exposed its office to possible attacks for which the administration should be held responsible.
"We write to inform you of a brazen raid on our business premises by officials of the Development Control Department of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on February 13, 2013, allegedly on the orders of the office of the FCT minister.
"During the raid, the aforementioned officials, backed by a bus-load of gun-toting mobile policemen, forcibly removed and destroyed the security barriers at our corporate headquarters in Utako, even as they brutalised members of staff who, civilly, sought explanations for the surprised development," the letter reads in part.
The newspaper noted that the destroyed security barriers were erected on the advice of the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS), in the wake of the April 26, 2012, bombing of the Abuja office of Thisday Newspaper, and following the well-publicised threat by the Boko Haram terrorist group to attack our office in like manner.
"We are alarmed, to say the least, that FCTA officials purportedly acting on your direct orders would set out to destroy the security arrangements put up by a responsible corporate entity on the advice of the SSS at a whim, without any form of prior notice and in such violent manner," it added.
LEADERSHIP called on the minister for his intervention because of the dire security implication of the action of the development control men, adding, "we sincerely hope that your office will see the aforesaid raid for what it truly is - an error of judgement - and promptly take proactive steps to redress the situation with a view to back a restoration of the breached security arrangements at our premises. We count on your timely and favourable response to this petition before any untoward security incident occurs at our now exposed business premises."