NUJ petitions IGP Arase over journalist’s detention

NUJ petitions IGP Arase over journalist’s detention

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 11:53 am

Yomi Olomofe: detained since Thursday

Yomi Olomofe: detained since Thursday

The Lagos State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Solomon Arase over the detention of one of its members, Yomi Olomofe.

In a statement by the council’s lawyer, Mr Jiti Ogunye, Olomofe, who had been having a running battle with the Nigeria Customs Service, was invited to the State CID, Panti, Lagos, for clarification on the matter.

It said that rather than being questioned on the purpose of the visit, he was on Thursday detained.

“Olomofe, who doubles as the editorial board chairman of Badagry Prime News, was later moved to the Alagbon command in Ikoyi area of the state.

“The NUJ and Olomofe are seeking for a public apology, assurance of Olomofe’s safety, N100 million compensation for breach of fundamental rights.

“Olomofe has been admitted to the hospital for urgent medical attention due to the shock of his harassment by the police.

“He has been told by his doctors that he has relapsed into a state of depression with his blood pressure alarmingly high,’’ it said.

The statement said that the inability of the Police to bring the perpetrators of attempted murder to justice for nine months was a monumental scandal.

“In the circumstances, we hereby request, that the Nigeria Police Force refrain from further violating the rights of our client, at the instance of his assailants and tormentors, as described above.

“The Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector-General of Police should assure Olomofe and his family of their continued safety,” NUJ said.

Last week the Committee for the Protection of Journalists also protested Olomofe’s detention.

Olomofe was arrested after men he had accused of severely beating him in June 2015 alleged the publisher had assaulted and attempted to extort money from them.

On June 25, 2015, Olomofe and McDominic Nkpemenyie, a correspondent with the state-funded Tide Newspaper, were investigating allegations that customs officers at Seme, on Nigeria’s border with Benin, were complicit in smuggling, when more than 15 men attacked the two journalists, Olomofe told CPJ.

The men hit Olomofe on his face and body with their fists and sticks until he lost consciousness, the publisher and witnesses told CPJ
days later, after Olomofe regained consciousness.

In a June 30, 2015, complaint to the Lagos state police commissioner, and a July 1, 2015, complaint to the inspector general of police, Olomofe identified his attackers and customs officers who had not intervened to stop the attack. Police have not charged anyone for assaulting the journalist.

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  • […] (NUJ) has petitioned the Inspector General of Police about Olomofo’s continued detention. NUJ stated that “the inability of the Police to bring the perpetrators of attempted murder to justice for nine […]

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