NUJ seeks justice, protection for assaulted journalist
Six months after Otunba Yomi Olomofe, a journalist and Executive Director of Badagry Prime Magazine, narrowly escaped death when he was assaulted by some smugglers inside the premises of the Nigerian Customs Service office, Seme Border Command, the Nigeria Union of Journalists is demanding that justice be done.
As a result of this, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Chapter, filed a N500 million criminal suit against the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), as the attackers were believed to be working for the NCS.
Olomofe claimed custom officers at the Seme Command looked away as the attackers battered him, which to him was a clear sign of their involvement.
Then, the Public Relations Officer, NCS, Seme Area Command, Afiz Abiodun Ajao, an Assistant Superintendent of Customs, had said that the command was investigating the incident, and would come out with its findings soon.
To NUJ’s dismay, nothing tangible has been done. The National President of NUJ, Mr. Waheed Odusile said NUJ had cooperated with the police to ensure justice was served, but since that was not forthcoming, Odulise noted, “We cannot fold our hands and allow the matter fade like others, the matter is now before a federal high court in Lagos”.
Odulise said the attack was a violation on Olomofe’s fundamental human right.
The human rights lawyer, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, representing Olomofe and NUJ, said he would ensure that the case is pursued to a favourable conclusion.
Ogunye lamented over the constant reoccurrence of attacks on journalists, saying, “Since 1999, we have had this incidents in different shades, we are hereby going to use this particular case to reassure people that journalists are not criminals and should be regarded in high esteem.”
He urged journalists to take pride in reporting the matter, as an injury to one is an injury to all. He said cases like this were important in enforcing the rights of the journalist.
According to Olomofe, “those who attacked me are very well known at Seme border, they were about 15 in number.”
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