Ugochukwu Favour, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) in Benin Republic, has called for the arrest of Umar Audu, a reporter who went undercover to reveal corruption in the issuance of certificates in the country. Favour expressed his concerns during an interview on Thursday on the Channels TV programme Sunrise Daily.
Favour criticized Audu for obtaining certificates and having his passport stamped without being physically present during the process. He highlighted that Audu’s actions, including serving in 2019 and then again in 2023, were not only questionable but also implicated the government and raised doubts about the credibility of agencies like the Immigration and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“Your passport was stamped while you were not available there. Now, and that aside, this guy served in 2019. And he still served again in 2023,” Favour remarked during the interview.
The NANS president called for Audu’s arrest, stating, “He has to be arrested. This guy needs to be arrested because, I know, he’s a reporter who is trying to clear out some things but on that note, you are trying to implicate some persons now because, in a sense, you’re trying to implicate the government, the NYSC and the immigration.”
When questioned about whether the reporter’s investigative efforts revealed loopholes that needed addressing, Favour acknowledged the potential issues but urged the government to take swift action in response to the expose.
“I’m not doubting that but then since this is out already, I want to urge the government to look into it and take the necessary steps as fast as possible,” he responded.
The call for Audu’s arrest comes amidst a larger debate on the ethical implications of investigative journalism, with Favour emphasizing the need for authorities to address the issues raised and ensure the integrity of government agencies involved in certificate issuance. The situation highlights the delicate balance between exposing corruption and potential legal consequences for those involved in investigative reporting.