Police in Nigeria must ensure proper conduct of personnel and desist from unlawful harassment of journalists in the discharge of their duties.
Reports say Police in Zaria-Kaduna North West Nigeria, on Wednesday August 12 arrested and detained Mustapha Yauri , a Zaria district correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) for several hours while covering a rift between trailer drivers and the state’s traffic law enforcement agency, popularly known as KASTELEA.
According to Yauri, he had just concluded his interviews with eye witness on the scene and had proceeded to take pictures when a plain clothe officer attempted to seize his phone but he declined.
“The police officer whom I later learned that he is the Divisional Crime Officer then called some armed police men and told them to take me to police station to detain me and bring my phone back to him”.
“I was detained at the police station for many hours before the DPO Mr. Ibrahim Abdullahi came into the office and called me for a meeting in his office where he apologized for what happened to me”, says local reports.
Speaking with AMDF, Yauri said it was the most embarrassing thing that could happen to him, he said although the District Police Officer (DPO) apologized, the officer responsible insisted he did nothing wrong worth apologizing.
The chairman, Nigeria union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna Council, Comrade Adamu Yusuf also spoke to AMDF Press Freedom desk and he lamented the ignorance of some men of the Nigeria Police Force who still harass journalists on duty even with proper identification.
Security operatives must learn to draw the line between performing their duties of securing lives and property and the abuse of power given to them by the constitution.
AMDF strongly condemns the harassment and consequent detention of Mustapha Yauri; we are calling on the Nigerian Police Force to give its men necessary enlightenment on the indispensable role of journalists in the society, and ensure proper conduct of personnel.
Journalists in Nigeria must be allowed to perform their duties free from harassment as the fourth estate of the realm.
Press Freedom Officer