On June 25, 2015, persons suspected to be smugglers severely beat up Yomi Olomofe, Executive Director and Chairman of the Editorial Board of Badagry Prime, a news magazine in Nigeria.
The assailants who beat Olomofe also took his three mobile phones, reportedly valued at about N500,000 (about US$2,500), a gold wristwatch and an undisclosed amount of money.
“I was in company of another journalist colleague, the correspondent of Tide Newspaper, during a visit to the [Seme] Command, when some smugglers, who claimed journalists have been writing negative stories about them, pounced on me, having known me very well and beat me to stupor,” Olomofe told journalists on June 28 from his hospital bed.
He also told journalists he suspected the attack was set-up.
“I was at the Seme Command on the invitation of the authority of the [Customs] Service, so I wonder how anybody could have been waiting for me there,” Olomofe said. “How do they know that I will be there?”
According to Olomofe, he was assaulted in front of some Customs officers who did nothing to rescue him. “This incident happened within the Customs premises and I don’t know what they will do again,” he said. “My life is not safe and that is why I am appealing to the police to come to my rescue.”
The MFWA condemns this attack on Olomofe. We are concerned about the increase in violence by both state and non-state actors against journalists and people exercising their right to free expression in Nigeria. We urge Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly institute measures to protect the safety of journalists and others so all can freely express themselves.
Photo credit: PM News