MRA seeks probe of attacks on journalists by DSS, NSCDC

Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has joined other groups in condemning recent attack on photojournalists by the Department of State Services (DSS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).

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In a statement yesterday in Jalingo, Taraba State, MRA called on the Federal Government to immediately launch an independent investigation into the matter to bring the perpetrators to book.

Apart from the call for urgent investigation, it sought compensation of the victims for injuries inflicted on them and destruction of their equipment.

The Programme Director, Ayode Longe, in the statement, listed Olu Aremo of Leadership newspaper, Olatunji Obasa of The Punch and Mudashiru Atqnda of The Sun as the photojournalists who were allegedly brutalised by the security operatives in their line of duty.

The photojournalists were reportedly beaten up on January 6, 2021 at the headquarters of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Abuja, while they were covering the registration of Nigerians for the National Identification Number (NIN).

Wondering why security operatives in the country have continued to debar newsmen from doing their job, MRA added: “In addition to physically assaulting the photojournalists, the security operatives also deleted the pictures taken by Aremo.

“How did covering an exercise ordered by the government become an offence that could provoke such an attack on media professionals?”

The statement noted: “Photojournalists have a duty and a right to cover the exercise, to enable both the government and other citizens know what is going on and evaluate the success or otherwise of the exercise.

“It is the responsibility of security and law enforcement agencies to protect journalists to enable them to carry out their professional duties without let or hindrance.”

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Longe called on the heads of the indicted security outfits to carry out thorough and independent investigation into the attacks, ensuring that the errant officers were prosecuted.

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