Vice President’s Security Assault Journalist for Taking Pictures

Abayomi Adeshida, a photojournalist working with the private newspaper Vanguard, was on November 7, 2019, brutalised by some personnel of the Department of State Security (DSS) attached to the Vice-President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo.

The only offense of Adeshida, an accredited photojournalist, was that he was taking pictures of the Vice President as the latter was inspecting exhibition stands mounted at the State House Banquet Hall during the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit.

Five of the security aides pounced upon and beat up the photojournalist. The assailants tore Adeshida’s badge which he was wearing visibly and hauled him out of the exhibition hall by dragging him on the floor. The victim sustained injuries and his camera was damaged.

“I am feeling pains all over my body and a particularly severe pain on my right leg on which I don’t even know what they hit me with”, Adeshida narrated.

Meanwhile, the Vice President’s aide, Laolu Akande, has apologised to the journalist for what he described as a “regrettable” incident.

“I’ve apologised to him for any embarrassment caused”, Akande tweeted.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) condemns the assault on the journalist who was merely doing his job. We demand swift reaction from the Vice President’s spokesman and seek punitive action against the perpetrators of the assault to serve as a deterrent. We urge the Office of the Vice President to cause the lawless security offices to be suspended from joining his security team, and this, without prejudice to any further action that the authorities of the DSS will take against the errant officers.

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