Power-drunk Lagos police commissioner orders reporter out of press briefing

Lagos Police Commissioner, Umar Manko

For reporting how policemen indiscriminately shot at the residents of a house in Ikota, Lagos, while responding to a distress call, Lagos Police Commissioner, Umar Manko, on Tuesday ordered a reporter with The Punch newspapers, Kunle Falayi, out of the Police command headquarters.

Mr. Falayi was at the police headquarters in Ikeja to report a briefing and the parade of some suspected criminals when the police chief singled him out from other reporters and told his orderly to walk him out of the premises.

“So, you’re the one who wrote this rubbish?” asked Mr Manko. “Were you there when the policemen shot the security guard? You people like to write rubbish.”

Mr. Manko said Falayi stories published in the newspaper on Monday and Tuesday was an affront on police integrity.

Mr Falayi had reported that policemen, who had been called to foil a robbery, shot a banker, Femi Badejo, and the security guard at his house, Joshua Musa.

According to residents of the house, the police had characteristically arrived after the robbers had left and started shooting indiscriminately at the residents even after they had identified themselves as the occupants of the house and victims of the robbery.

Spokesperson of the state police command had admitted at the time of the initial report that the policemen had shot Mr Badejo because they thought he was one of the robbers. But she said the robbers shot Mr Musa.

“As the policemen were going to the house, an occupant of the house was communicating with them on the phone, saying the robbers were still on the premises. That is probably why they shot at the banker when they got to the house,” she said.

The police commissioner’s action again highlighted the disdain with which reporters are treated by the police and other security agencies in the country.

Several reporters had been physically brutalised and their equipment seized or smashed while doing their legitimate job by policemen, soldiers and men of other state-owned security agencies.


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  • Victoria

    Dont worry Mr. Reporter, he wont be there forever

  • Jab

    From the conduct of the Police commissioner one would not be surprised at the behaviour of low level policemen who go out to shoot at anything moving without looking if the person that they are seeing is armed or not. Policemen are legitimately allowed to use firearms to protect themselves danger. In Nigeria weapons in the hands of Policemen and the Military are primarily used to hunt down Nigerians.

  • the truth

    Police will always cover/defend themselves even if they a caught red-handed. Its really pathetic cuz u can hardly win a case with them.

  • Kate

    It is a shame today’s reporters don’t remember the saying that the pen is mightier than the gun. One wonders what their beat associations are meant for. They all sat down and witnessed a member of their crime reporters association treated in such a way when their executive could have stood up to say ‘With due respect Mr. Commissioner of Police, you cannot send any reporter out of this press conference. If you disagree with what he published in his newspaper, write a rejoinder or take him to court’. If he insists the reporter should be walked out, then all the reporters should walk out as well and see whether his officers will be the ones to cover his press briefing. You would have taught him how to respect a journalist. Unfortunately because many of the reporters are on their payroll, they cannot stand up to defend their integrity. Shame on you.