Nigeria ALERT: Journalists’ Union protests police intimidation, harassment

The Taraba State Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on December 11, 2003, accused Police Commissioner Egbechukwu Nwachukwu of masterminding a campaign of intimidation and harassment of journalists in the state.

According to the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)-Nigeria, a statement signed by the local union secretary, Pojo Nafinji, complained that, following a series of uncomplimentary media reports about the police commissioner, Mr Nwachkwu had publicly threatened to ‘get even’ with journalists who might be involved in any matter brought before the police. Subsequently, when a journalist with the TheNews magazine reported a traffic incident to the police, the commissioner, ironically, ordered the complainant to be charged and sent to court. The magazine’s Tabara State reporter, Ben Adeji, has also recently been twice detained by the police.

The NUJ has, therefore, directed its members to boycott all activities by the state police. The union has also appealed to the Inspector General of Police to withdraw Commissioner Nwachukwu from the state.

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