Police officers on Sunday attacked journalists covering elections in Cross River State.
The journalists, mainly staff of Channels Television, were attacked in Calabar, the state capital.
One of the reporters who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES, Imani Odey, said they were on their way to the headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for updates on election results collation when some police officers attacked her team of four at about 5.30 p.m.
“We decided to park and see if we could get shots of the town and what was happening,” she said. “My camera guy got down, was walking towards these police officers to explain to them why we were there and possibly get permission from them to work.”
“They didn’t even allow him get there, as soon as they sighted him walking towards them they just came and started shouting, ‘what are you people doing here with camera.’
“They started raining insults on us. We tried to explain we are journalist on official assignment, but they didn’t listen.
“They shouted again, ‘who sent you? I’m sure someone sent you,’” Ms. Odey said.
She said although the crew’s camera is still intact, the microphone on the camera was destroyed.
“My camera guy was tear-gassed and physically attacked together with the Guardian lady with us,” she said.
She said while they were all kitted with reflective vest, face caps and identity cards provided by INEC, about 20 police officers continued the attack.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police of the state, Henry Fadario, declined to comment.