The IPC’s Centre for Safety and Protection of Journalists (I-CSPJ), Lagos-Nigeria has condemned the reported attack on some journalists who were in the court on Wednesday to cover the sitting of the Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
The I-CSPJ made condemnation in a statement issued in Lagos by Melody Akinjiyan, Press Freedom Officer, I-CSPJ.
The journalists were attacked today, Wednesday, September 20, 2023.
The I-CSPJ said it is extremely dismayed by the reported police attack on the journalists who were in the court to carry out their legitimate duty.
According to the statement, among journalists attacked were Salim Umar Ibrahim of Daily Trust and BBC Hausa Reporter, Zahraddeen Lawal.
Report from Salim Ibrahim of Daily Trust states that, “the Police who were on duty asked the journalists to move 10 meters away from the Court premises and in the process, some of them pounced on them, alleging that they were taking pictures.
“While some went after BBC reporter trying to seize his phone, others held Salim Ibrahim of Daily Trust and forcefully collected his phone, damaging the screen,” the report further stated.
The Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade decried the attack, saying that ” unwarranted attacks on journalists on legitimate duty is dangerous to our democracy and a major threat to press freedom.
“Such act violates the fundamental human rights of the journalists.
“We urge the men of the Nigerian Police Force to be mindful of actions they take against journalists and not continually create an environment where journalists would be afraid to work and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
“I-CSPJ therefore calls on the Kano State Commissioner of Police to take adequate and swift measures to bring to book those who assaulted the journalists while putting in place machinery to compensate the affected journalists 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 in relating with journalists and other media professionals.
“They should be reminded constantly that the primary responsibility of the Police is the protection of citizens including journalists.”