For immediate release, June 11, 2021.
The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos – Nigeria decries the attack by operatives of the Department of State Services and the Police on Friday Olokor, a Senior Correspondent with The Punch Newspaper and Patience Ihejirika, a reporter with Leadership Newspapers in Abuja.
IPC has confirmed that both were molested on Thursday while trying to gain access to M & M Events Centre, Abuja where they had gone to cover the ongoing African Women Conference organised by dRPC (Development Research and Projects Centre) with the support of Ford Foundation.
IPC’s Journalist Safety Alert Desk gathered that while Olokor was physically manhandled, Ihejirika had her phone seized and vital videos deleted to ensure she did not record the assault on Olokor.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said, “This detestable act is very worrisome and totally against the fundamental human rights of Olokor and Ihejirika who identified themselves as journalists.”
IPC notes that the continous attacks on journalists in Nigeria is particularly worrisome, especially when the perpetrators are security operatives whose main function is to protect lives and property
IPC however applauds an Assistant Director of DSS who reportedly apologised to Olokor with a promise that the personnel involved would be made to face the consequences of their actions.
IPC therefore demands that the perpetrators be brought to justice immediately.
Program Officer/Safety Alert Desk Officer, IPC