Director, International Press Centre (IPC), Lanre Arogundade, has decried attacks on journalists and other media professionals during last Saturday’s presidential and National Assembly elections, adding that the assaults affected the credibility of the electoral process.
In a statement signed by IPC’s Safety Alert Desk Officer, Melody Akinjiyan, yesterday, and made available to Daily Sun, Arogundade, said: “The rights of journalists to monitor and report electoral activities are constitutionally guaranteed and recognised by various regulatory frameworks, such as the Electoral Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage and, therefore, should be respected.”
Calling on the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to carry out appropriate investigations, with a view to prosecuting or sanctioning the alleged perpetrators, he expressed serious concern over the incidents.
He said information gathered by IPC’s media at the election situation room revealed that not less than five journalists and media professionals faced one form of harassment or the other, including arrests, denial of access to collation centres and gunshot injuries.
He gave details of journalists involved in the incidents to include the arrest of Nwanosike Onu of The Nation, Geoffrey Anyanwu of The Sun, David-Chyddy Eleke of THISDAY, Vincent Ujumadu of Vanguard and Tony Okafor of Punch, adding that these journalists were picked up by a team of police officers close to the residence of the vice presidential candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi, in Anambra during the voting exercise.