Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Tafa Balogun, on this day in September 2003 promised to enlist the Daily Independent photographer, Mr. Akintunde Akinyele, who was assaulted by some mobile policemen attached to Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s convoy, into the force as a cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).
Balogun said the gesture could only be real if the journalist was willing to accept the offer.
Akinyele was beaten to a state of coma by policemen during the offi- cial coronation of the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu 1, on August 30, 2003, at the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
The Commissioner of Police (Mobile) and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Mr. Okokon Iniedu, disclosed this when he visited the Daily Independent newspaper to convey the apologies of the IGP to the organisation over the assault on the photographer by policemen attached to Atiku’s convoy.
After the incident, there had been several incidences involving the police and journalists, with the police coming down heavily on journalists.
In 2017, at least two Nigerian journalists were killed, according to data collected by the International Press Centre.
Another 12 journalists and media organisations in the country suffered various forms of assault, including from state actors, the centre which tracked the situation of journalism in Nigeria, said.
In a statement to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the IPC called for “urgent justice for all at- tacked journalists in the country through investigation and diligent prosecution of the alleged perpetrators.”
The group, in the statement signed by Melody Akinjiyan and Lanre Arogundade, programme assistant and director, respectively, also advised Nigerian journalists to take safety more seriously.