IPC condemns attacks on journalists during Saturday elections
The International Press Centre (IPC) yesterday expressed concern over reported incidents of attacks on journalists and other media professionals during last Saturday’s Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Information gathered by the centre revealed that not less than five journalists and media professionals faced one form of harassment or the other including arrest, denial of access to collation centres and gunshot injury.
The details of these incidents include the arrest of Nwanosike Onu of The Nation, Geoffrey Anyanwu of Sun, David-Chyddy Eleke of THISDAY, Vincent Ujumadu of Vanguard and Tony Okafor of Punch by a team of fully armed police officers close to the residence of Mr. Peter Obi, Vice Presidential Candidate of PDP in Anambra, where they had gone to cover the election during the voting exercise.
Also, the Centre condemned the shooting of Reginald Dei, a Government House photographer at his residence by unidentified armed men who were said to be in military uniform at Oweikorogha, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. He is said to be in critical condition.
The report also showed that some groups of journalists were barred from monitoring results collation in Ugheli North, Delta State; Amuwo/Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, Bauchi and Kebbi State.
IPC Director, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said, “The various attacks on journalists during the general elections are condemnable as they also affect the credibility of the electoral process.
“The rights of journalists to monitor and report election day activities are constitutionally guaranteed and recognized by various regulatory frameworks such as the Electoral Act, the Nigeria Broadcasting Code and the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage and therefore should be respected.”
The Director has called on security agencies and INEC to carry out appropriate investigations with a view to prosecuting or sanctioning the alleged perpetrators of the attacks against the concerned journalists and media professionals.