Some officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Anambra State have brutalised a journalist in the state, Izunna Okafor.
Over 10 officers, who reportedly descended on the journalist, accused the media of being the problem of Nigeria.
Okafor, a reporter with 247ureports.com, was coming from Nnewi, where he was invited to cover the Anambra South Rally of the Soludo Ambassadors, when the NSCDC men descended on him.
It was gathered that the journalist was in the same bus provided by the organiser of the event to convey him and the NSCDC officials from Awka to the venue of the rally and back to Awka.
Recounting his ordeal in the hands of the security men, the journalist said trouble started when he wanted to alight at the UNIZIK Junction, Awka, from the bus that was conveying them.
According to him, he repeatedly informed the driver that he would alight at the UNIZIK Junction, but the driver ignored him on the instruction of the NSCDC officers, who insisted that everybody must remain in the bus and follow them to the very last bus stop where they would alight.
He said it was until he raised his voice before some of the officials and attendants of the rally in the bus told the driver to stop for him to alight.
He said when he alighted, he could not see his second phone which fell inside the bus when the driver was speeding. However, according to him, as he was informing them that his phone had fallen off and that he wanted to pick it, the civil defence officers ordered the driver to zoom off.
He said as he was stretching his hand to request the phone from the person who volunteered to pick it for him, one of the NSCDC officials attached to the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) ordered the driver to speed off, and then furiously jammed the door of the bus, leaving him with severe hand injuries.
Okafor, who was in severe pains, said he boarded another commercial transport to the place where the officers said would be the last bus stop.
According to him, when he got there, as he sought an explanation from the particular officer for his action, the situation degenerated into a chaos as the officer began questioning him on what gave him the boldness.
He said while the officer began to raise his voice at him, he cocked his gun and his colleagues, numbering about 11, rushed out and descended on him, kicking and hitting him with their guns.
Okafor said some of the officers also cocked their guns and threatened to shoot him, but for the pleas of other passengers in the bus.
According to the journalist, it took the intervention of Mr. Ossy Onuko, the Managing Director of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) to quell the violence.
Despite Okafor eventually retrieving his phone and receiving an apology from Onuko, the officers continued threatening him, vowing to track him and further deal with him.
Okafor said he had reported the incident to the Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Command of the NSCDC, Edwin Okadigbo, who promised to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the State Commandant of the corps, Anambra State Command, Mr. Edwin Osuala, has ordered thorough investigations into the case.
The commandant in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of NSCDC, DSC Okadigbo Edwi, ordered the Deputy Commandant in charge of Investigation and Intelligence Department to immediately commence full scale investigation into the matter with a view to bringing anyone found wanting to book.
“While affirming his unwavering stance against unethical conduct on the part of officers and men, the state commandant further solicited sustained media partnership, cooperation and support of the public in providing timely and relevant information to the Corps in its renewed efforts against security challenges in the state,” the statement added.
By Titus Eleweke
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