The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has said there should be urgent justice for all attacked journalists in the country through investigation and diligent prosecution of the alleged perpetrators.
IPC made the call today as journalists, other media professionals and freedom of expression groups mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
IPC said it was unfortunate that Nigeria continues to rank high among countries where press freedom and freedom of expression are under threat stating that the database of its Safety Alert Desk reveals not less than fourteen incidents of assault, threat, battery, arrest, kidnap, killing and invasion involving journalists and media institutions within the last one year.
- Jerry Edoho of Ibom Nation Akwa-Ibom State: He was picked up in Uyo by police personnel from the Force headquarters in Abuja on 6th of January. http://punchng.com/police-arrest-fly-journalist-abuja-facebook-post/
- Nsebiet John of The Ink Akwa-Ibom State: He was detained for a night in police cell, arraigned and granted bail to the sum of #250,000 on the 6th of January.
- Premium Times, Abuja: The premises was invaded by armed police men on the 19th January, 2017
- Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher, Premium Times and Evelyn Okakwu, Judiciary correspondent: Both were arrested by armed police men on the night of January 19, 2017.
- Godwin Aliuna of National Mirror, Ebonyi State: He was attacked by alleged armed robbers in his residence on the 22nd of February, 2017- http://www.informationng.com/2017/02/armed-robbers-attack-national-mirror-journalist-ebonyi.html
- Famous Giobaro, journalist with Bayelsa state-owned radio station Glory FM 97.1: He was shot dead by suspected hired assassins on 16th April, 2017.
- Samuel Nweze, Publisher of the People’s Leader: He was shot by gunmen in front of his office in Abakaliki on the 2nd of June, 2017. http://thenationonlineng.net/two-journalists-attacked-thugs-abakaliki/
- Charles Otu of the Conscience Newspaper: He was beaten to stupor with dangerous weapons and later abducted by suspected political thugs in Abakaliki on the 2nd of June, 2017.
- Lawrence Okojie of Nigerian Television Authority, Benin: He was shot dead by gunmen at 8p.m while returning from work on the 8th July, 2017. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/236456-nigerian-journalist-shot-dead.html
- Amadin Uyi of Silverbird Television, Abuja: He was brutalized by police officers during the protest by Ourmumudondo group at Unity Fountain in Abuja on 8th of August, 2017.
- Segun Salami of the Channels Television, Kogi: He was battered at the state house detention centre by security personnel attached to Kogi state government house on Monday 28th of August, 2017- https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/08/yahaya-bello-apologises-channels-tv-reporter/
- NUJ secretariat, Abia state: Invaded by Nigerian soldiers of Operation Python Dance on Tuesday 12th of September, 2017 during which some journalists were assaulted
- Wale Odunsi, an editor with Daily Post (online publication): He was reportedly attacked by security men at the Kogi State government house on the 11th October, 2017
- Ikechukwu Ibe of the Daily Trust Newspapers: He was allegedly brutally assaulted by an Army captain at Jabi area of Abuja on the 26th of October, 2017
Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, said these were unwelcome development deserving the attention of media stakeholders.
“We attach the highest priority to the safety of journalists and other media actors. We oppose any action, legislation, regulation or political pressure that limits freedom of the press. Acts of intimidation and violence against journalists in Nigeria have to end for democracy to survive. Attacks against media institutions and journalists are attacks against democratic rights including the right of the public to know the truth about the way they are governed,” Arogundade said.
Mr. Arogundade called on the Police authorities to make public disclosure on what has been done so far towards unraveling the mystery behind killed journalists in Nigeria.
He also called on journalists and other media professionals to take their safety more seriously by keeping abreast with various safety tips for journalists covering dangerous assignments.
Program Assistant/Safety Desk Officer, IPC