Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has threatened to take legal action if the Nigeria Inspector-General of Police failed to suspend the officers who reportedly attacked a Nigerian journalist.
Punch Newspaper’s correspondent, Toni Ufor, was assaulted, and his mobile phone and ID card were seized by the officers.
SERAP described the seizure of Ufor’s belongings as a violation of his right to property and “undermines the protection of sources of the journalist and the right of the press not to disclose confidential sources, which is essential for the exercise of reporting; on issues of public interest.”
The group said, “We are seriously concerned that the growing crackdown on journalists is part of the Buhari administration’s efforts to silence media reporting on human rights violations and widespread corruption in the country.”
The anti-corruption group asked Buhari to ensure that those responsible for the attack on Mr Ufor were immediately suspected from the force and prosecuted.
“The authorities should ensure and guarantee that all journalists in Nigeria are able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals,” the group said in a statement via its Twitter handle.
The reporter was reportedly assaulted on Wednesday by some policemen attached to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU).
Ufor was assigned to cover the case of some tenants who were allegedly defrauded by a developer at the Milverton Office of the SFU in Ikoyi.
The reporter’s offence was that he conducted interviews with the victims allegedly defrauded in front of the Unit’s premises.
SERAP has threatened to take legal action within 48 hours if Mr Buhari failed to order the IGP Usman Alkali Baba to return the items, suspend and prosecute those responsible.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.