Brutalized journalist demands N5 million from Civil Defence

Men of the NSCDC pummelled a journalist
The Oyo State correspondent of Leadership Newspaper, Waheed Adebayo, who was assaulted by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, penultimate Friday, has written to the agency to demand N5 million for damages suffered in the incident.

Mr. Adebayo was brutalised by officials of the security outfit at SS Peter and Paul Major Seminary, Bodija, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the installation of the new Catholic Archbishop for the Ibadan Archdiocese. The assault occurred despite that he was duly accredited to cover the programme.

In a letter written on his behalf by his lawyer, AbdulRaheem Shittu, the journalist said he demanded the money because he suffered “harrassment, assault and public humiliation”.

Dated January 31, 2014, the letter was addressed to the state commandant of the NSCDC with copies sent to journalists in Ibadan.

Apart from the money, Mr. Adebayo also demanded an ‘unreserved apology’ to him and the journalism profession.

“The apology must be published in at least three National Dailies within 10 days from the date of receipt of this letter.

“Payment of the sum of N5m only to our client as compensation for the harrassment, assault and public humiliation he suffered and payment of the sum of N150,000 only as replacement cost for the items he lost.

“Undoubtedly, the attack on our client constitutes a grave assault on the right to press freedom guaranteed by the 1999 constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, especially in a democratic era. Our client was subjected to physical and psychological pain as well as public ridicule for no known offence.

“We consider it the height of irresponsibility and unprofessionalism that Security Agents, who are entrusted with the duty of protecting citizens, journalists inclusive, have now turned into nightmares and oppressors of the citizens whom they are paid to protect”, the letter reads.

Mr. Adebayo warned that if his demands are not met in 10 day after receipt of the letter, he would go to court.


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