Nigeria: School principal physically assaults, sexually harasses female journalist

On July 9, 2015, the principal of Comprehensive Senior High School in Lagos assaulted Olanike Akinrimisi, a reporter with The Point newspaper.

Akinrimisi had gone to the school to report on classroom congestion and poor infrastructure in the school. While she was taking pictures, the school principal, whose name has only been given as one Animashaun, attacked Akinrimisi and pushed her down.

Sensing her camera could be seized, Akinrimisi hid her camera in her bosom. This, however, did not prevent Animashaun from taking it as he put his hand into the upper part of her dress, touching her breasts as he removed her camera.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Nigeria reported that, following the assault, The Point petitioned the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education.

The letter titled, ‘Report of Assault Meted Out to Our Reporter by a School,’ was signed by the Kayode Fasua, editor of The Point, among other things, appealed for justice to be served in the matter.

“Up till now, the reporter’s camera is still with Animashaun who, despite all entreaties, has been brimming with brimstone and fire, threatening that anywhere he spots our reporter, he would strip her naked,” the petition said. “Kindly move in to ensure justice, as we earnestly await your response.”

The MFWA condemns this attack on Akinrimisi and urges all actors to allow journalists to freely report on issues of public importance, such as education. It is imperative that both state and non-state actors respect the safety of journalists and provide effective redress for violations of personal security.

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