From Obinna Odogwu, Awka
International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned in strong terms the assault on the Guardian newspaper reporter, Eniola Daniel, in Lagos State by the Lagos Taskforce Team.
Eniola, according to reports, was assaulted by the taskforce at the Apapa-Oshodi area of Lagos while carrying out his legitimate duty where the taskforce team had stormed to carryout some operations.
The reporter’s personal belongings and work tools were reportedly destroyed and vandalized during the unfortunate incident.
IPC, in a statement signed by the Program Officer/Safety Alert Desk Officer, Melody Lawal, said that the attack on the journalist was totally unacceptable.
The statement read: “The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria frowns at, and totally condemns police brutality against Eniola Daniel, a reporter with The Guardian Newspaper while performing his duty at Apapa-Oshodi, Lagos on Sunday, February 28, 2021.
“Information of the police unwarranted brutality collated by the IPC Journalist Safety Alert Desk, describes the inhumane treatment of the Nigeria Police Force, who physically and mentally assaulted Eniola, while covering the activities of a government Taskforce at Apapa-Oshodi expressway in the early hours of Sunday.
The statement qouted the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, as saying that the “incessant action or excessive use of force against journalists and civilians is dangerous to our democracy and a major threat to press freedom. Such acts of brutality also violate the fundamental human rights of the journalist.”
“We urge the men of the Nigerian Police Force to be mindful of events around the world and not continually create an environment where journalists will be afraid to work and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
“IPC, therefore, calls on the authorities at the Nigeria Police Force to take adequate and swift measures to bring to book those who violated the journalist while putting in place machinery to compensate Eniola Daniel for this inhumane treatment.
“We also call on the Nigeria Police Force to step up the training of its officers to be more respectful and courteous while discharging their duties. They should be reminded constantly that the primary responsibility of the Police is the protection of citizens including journalists and every other civilians”, the statement concluded.