The International Press Centre, IPC, Lagos, Nigeria, has condemned the “unwarranted assault and attack” by officers of the Nigeria police on an Arise News Channel crew on Sunday, with cameraman Francis Ogbonna bearing the brunt of the attack.
The Police attacked and brutalized Ogbonna while interviewing protesters who gathered for an #EndSARS rally in Abuja.
Policemen attacked and brutalised Ogbonna, who was part of an Arise News Channel crew covering a news conference where Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu dissolved the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police.
Ogbonna was hit several times on the head and his camera destroyed, while his correspondent, Ferdinand Duruoha took to his heels after being intimidated.
Duruoha fled after hearing orders of “Shoot him! shoot him!” The crew was interviewing protesters who had gathered at the Police headquarters.
According to the Arise crew, the Police pounced on anyone they could, with Ogbonna one of many injured.
A video recording by Duruoha later showed Ogbonna’s injuries, which resulted in blood gushing out of his head.
IPC Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said, “We condemn the uncalled attack on the journalist while carrying out his legitimate duty of covering a protest.”
IPC immediately called on the IGP to intervene on the incident and many others perpetrated by police officers. “He should ensure that the culprit is punished in accordance with the provisions of the law,” Arogundade said.
Arogundade, also enjoined IGP on the need to educate police officers on the field to create a safe environment for media professionals to carry out their duties.