The International Press Center calls for immediate investigation of attacks on journalists by State House of Assembly member representing Afikpo South-West, Mr. Nkemka Onuma, with men suspected to be thugs at the assembly complex.
According to the reports by Sun Newspapers dated July 30, 2019, the incident happened after the screening of one of the commissioner nominees, which was fraught with irregularities, as the speaker, Francis Nwifuru, noticed that the year the nominee purportedly left primary school was not in sync with the year he started secondary school, according to his documents.
The suspected thugs reportedly assaulted Ogochukwu Anioke of The Nation newspaper, Samson Nwafor of Nigerian Pilot and Mrs. Grace Egbo of Tribune, who was pregnant. After attacking the reporters, the thugs also held Anioke hostage inside the assembly premises, ordering the gateman to lock the gate as he made to drive out.
Lanre Arogundade, Director, IPC in a statement decried the attacks and demands that the lawmaker and those who perpetuated the callous and dastard act be brought to justice.
He noted that the harassment of journalists and most especially the attack on the pregnant journalist is barbaric, an assault to democratic principles and also an escalating attack against press freedom that is being waged by tyrants in Nigeria.
“It is laudable that NAWOJ plans to protest the attack on the pregnant journalist, other media stakeholders and professional bodies should also commit to ensure that all relevant government authorities’ hands are on deck so that perpetrators are punished,” he added.
International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos, Nigeria
IPC is Nigeria’s foremost media capacity development organization.
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