COVID-19, Journalist, Abia

By Ugochukwu Alaribe, Umuahia

A journalist, Thompson, Nsisiongabasi, was yesterday, assaulted and his phone seized by a team of policemen from the Central Police Station, Umuahia.

Trouble started for the journalist who works for the Umuahia based Abia Facts newspaper while he was on his way back from assignment along the Ikot Ekpene –Umuahia highway.

Narrating his ordeal to Vanguard, Thompson said he got to Orpet junction and saw people being pursued by some policemen.

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“I thought the policemen were pursuing them because of the lockdown, but I was mistaken as four of the policemen started beating me with their sticks accusing me of taking their photographs. I identified myself as a journalist returning from an assignment. One of them with the name tag, Inspector Sunday Daniel seized my phone. They inflicted injuries on me. I continued begging them that I was returning from an assignment and didn’t know what happened. But my appeals fell on deaf ears as they continued beating me, there was blood all over my body.”

The journalist said he approached a superior officer who arrived the scene, and the officer apologized to him and demanded the handset from the policeman, but Inspector Daniel allegedly denied seizing the item.

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He added that he was later taken to the office of the DPO, Central Police Station, Umuahia, where Inspector Daniel, was summoned, but also denied seizing his phone.

The journalist, who is now receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital in the unity, has appealed to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Ene Okon, to retrieve his phone and punish Inspector Daniel, alleging that the DPO of the station has been protecting the policeman.

Effort to get CP Okon’s reaction on the incident was unsuccessful as he failed to respond to calls and text message sent to his mobile number.

Vanguard

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