IPC demands disciplinary action for culprits over attacks on journalists in Lagos & Ekiti states.
From Umar Dankano,Yola.
The International Press Centre (IPC) Lagos has condemned in strongest term the recent attacks on Journalists in the convoy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in Lagos and Ekiti states.
Recall that Some journalists attached to the Lagos Governor were attacked after a visit to palace of Oba Rilwan Akiolu by the APC Presidential Candidate,Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Sunday June 19th,2022 while a Campus Journalist,Jeremiah Omoniyi deployed to cover the Ekiti governorship election poll was arrested.
Position of the Centre was disclosed in a press release signed and issued by the Communication Officer,IPC Olutoyin Ayoade lamenting that the affected journalists,Adeola Ogunrinde and Omotseye Atsenuwa of Smooth 98’1FM were severely injured while Adedoja Salam of TVC was left in a state of shock.
In the release,the Executive Director of IPC,Mr.Lanre Arogundade charged both the police and the Lagos state Government to bring the perpetrators to justice to serve as deterrent to those who may be planning similar attacks on journalists ahead of 2023 elections.
Mr. Arogundade said the arrest of Omoniyi by the DSS during the polls on Saturday June 18th,2022 for allegedly recording a video of brawl involving party agents at a polling Unit in Irepodun/Ifelodun local government area in Ekiti state amounted to undue harassment and obstruction of professional journalist on duty.
Arogundade advised the leadership of DSS and other security agencies to sensitise their officers on election duty that there is no law preventing journalists from covering,recording and reporting incidents on Election Day.
“It is also worth reminding all security agencies that the role of the media during electoral processes and elections is recognised by the Constitution and the Electoral Act any assault on any journalist or other media professional on electoral duty therefore means that the laws of the country are being undermined.
“The fact that the weekend attacks bring to more than 40 the number of dangerous and life threatening incidents involving journalists and other media professionals as documented by IPC’s Safety Alert Desk in the year 2022 alone underscores the need for such protection for journalists in Nigeria “.Arogundade said.