The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria has expressed concerns over the “maltreatment” of a photojournalist, Oluwagbemiga Olamikan, by operatives of the Department of State Services at a court room in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Olamikan is a photojournalist working with Vanguard newspapers.
IPC quoted in a statement issued to the press in response to a report from the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in FCT, which claims that “the DSS operatives prevented some reporters from covering the trial of some supporters of Sunday Adeyemo, a youth leader better known as Sunday Igboho.”
“Oluwagbemiga Olamikan was reportedly assaulted at the said trial which took place at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday August 2nd, 2021.
IPC’s Executive Director, Lanre Arogundade; “this occurrence is another indication that journalists’ rights and press freedom are ceaselessly being disregarded in the country”.
“Journalists are legitimately authorised to carry out their duties without interference and their harassment in the course of duty in a matter of immense public interest is appalling and unacceptable”, the statement said further.
Mr. Arogundade said “IPC is demanding immediate investigation and prosecution of the security operatives responsible for the assault to serve as a deterrent to others who may want to engage in similar act of brutality.
“An unreserved apology should be tendered to Mr. Olamikan while he should be well compensated”, the statement added.
Local media have reported that the photojournalist was forced at gunpoint by DSS operatives to delete all the pictures he took in the court.
Other reporters at the court premises had to intervene before Mr Olamikan could get his phone returned to him.