Nigeria: May Day - Police Brutalise Journalist

Regulation & Policy

A cameraman with the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), Dare Folorunso, was beaten to a state of unconsciousness by men from the State Police Command led by an Assistant Commissioner in charge of Criminal Investigations Department, Joshua Mumbo. Folorunso was detailed by his station to record side attraction during the celebration held at the Akure Township Stadium when a female inspector of police raised alarm that the boy had taken an offensive shot.

Attracted by the alarm, other policemen around descended on Folorunso, who was ordered to surrender his camera failure of which led to him be beaten severely. The arrival of the AC in charge of CID, Joshua Mumbo worsened the boy's situation as the senior police officer snatched a baton from one of the policemen at the scene and clubbed the camera man until he fainted.

Mumbo, who was described as being too temperamental, was the officer who threatened to shoot within the courtroom when a judge dismissed a case against some accused persons early this year.

In fact the judge had to rush into his inner chamber when Jumbo threatened to shoot anybody that prevents him from re-arresting the accused persons. For fear of being attacked, the AC fled the scene while the cameraman was rushed to the State Specialist Hospital , Akure. Other journalists and management staff of the OSRC were surprised when they got to the hospital and found their one of their colleagues handcuffed and labeled "Unknown Man" trying to disrupt May Day Celebration in the hospital record.

It took the intervention of the Head of Service, Alaba Isijola, other senior journalists, Commissioner of Police for the state command, Innocent Ilozuoke, the AC in charge of Operations, Bodunde Michael before the handcuff was removed. In swift reaction, the Ondo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), condemned in strong terms the dastardly act personally carried out by an officer in the rank of an Assistant Commissioner. The union in a statement signed by the council chairman, Dele Atunbi questioned the effrontery of the purported officer to even handcuff the cameraman after his brutalization while performing his official duties.

This Day Lagos, 2nd May 2007