Journalist Battered By DSS Officer Petitions Agency

A Correspondent of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), who was allegedly brutalised by an official of Department of State Services (DSS) on February 17, has petitioned the agency.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Alambo Datonye, in a petition dated Feb. 20 addressed to the State Director of DSS in Bayelsa and copied to the Director-General of the Service, demanded apology for the assault.

Datonye, who is also the Chairman, Sports Writers’ Association of Nigeria (SWAN) in Bayelsa, stated in the petition that the unidentified DSS officer, had threatened to shoot him.

According to him, the officer punched him on the right eye and threatened to kill him. “I had gone to politely explain to one of the security personnel that the Journalists were duly accredited to cover the event and should be given access to perform their duties.

“But one of the two DSS personnel at the gate started pushing me after which he punched my right eye. “After assaulting me, he went further to cork his gun and threatened to kill me, screaming that he was a devil and could shoot me.

“Since that brutality was meted out to me, I have vomited a couple of times and currently having feverish feelings. “I am at the moment finding it difficult to see clearly with my right eye where the suspected Department of State Services personnel punched me.

“This is affecting my work on a daily basis and giving me a challenge in my day-to-day functions both at home and outside,” the petition read in part.

Datonye also demanded that the DSS official should be fished out and brought to book. He further demanded an unreserved apology from the DSS for the harassment of a law-abiding citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the discharge of his lawful duties.

In a reaction, the state NUJ Chairman, Mr. John Angese, described the attack as “barbaric, cruel and unfortunate in a democratic setting.” He urged the relevant authorities to investigate, arrest and prosecute the security official involved, to serve as a deterrent to other overzealous DSS officials. (NAN)

 

DSS Allegedly Arrest Man Over Girl’s Conversation To Christianity

The conversion from Islam to Christianity of one 19 year-old Miss Nabila Umar Sanda Galadima in Plateau State has lead to the arrest of a certain Simput Dafup who helped her with her conversion.

The 200-level student of Bingham University, Karu, Nasarawa State, was said to have met one Engineer Simput Dafup for the first time in Dubai. Dafup was on his way back to Nigeria from the United Kingdom. The two got talking and exchanged contacts.Said to have shown interest in Christianity, Nabila made her intention known to Dafup who asked how her father, Galadima Biu, would react.

According to Guardian, Nabila, was said to have replied that she was of age and could take decisions of her own. Uncomfortable, Dafup sought the advice of one Evangelist Jerry Datim.Addressing journalists at the NUJ press centre in Jos on Saturday, Datim said that, sensing the implication of the conversion for the cordial relationship between the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamatu Nasril Islam (JNI), he decided a discussion with leaders of Nabila’s religion was necessary.

Datim said he and Dafup met the JNI leadership alongside Nabila, with a view to avoiding a religious crisis.He said but while this was going on, detectives from the Department of State Security Service (DSS) stormed his house, assaulted his wife, daughter and eight-month-old baby, and whisked Nabila away.

“As I address you, we do not know the whereabouts of Engineer Simput Dafup and Daniel Hassan, the taxi driver whose vehicle Miss Nabila boarded from Abuja to Jos.“I want to state for the avoidance of doubt that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the right of anyone to propagate his faith and the right to also practice any religion of one’s choice. Miss Nabila told me she is 19 years old and therefore free to choose a religion for herself.

“I understand that her father has said he has all the connection in this country to deal with me, Engineer Dafup and any other person found to have converted his daughter to Christianity, and that he will ensure we rot in jail.

“I want to state here, without fear of contradiction, that Engineer Dafup, myself or any other person that has established any contact with Nabila, has breached any law of this land.” He challenged the DSS to produce Nabila “and place us side by side, so that they can ask her if she was forcefully converted to Christianity or abducted or brain washed. She is of age. Let her speak for herself on this matter. Let the whole world hear her.”

He said Dafup should be released forthwith. “In the event that his abductors insist on keeping him, wherever he is, I will begin to mobilise any moment after this press conference. They must not only release him immediately, they must ensure that he is in a good state of health. And the DSS must stop the harassment of members of my family or that of the family of Engineer Dafup or any other person allegedly involved in the conversion of Miss Nabila.”

Also narrating her ordeal to journalists at the briefing, the mother of Dafup, a widow, Mrs. Lydia Istifanus, said: “It has become compelling for me to address you in order to intimate you and members of the public that my son, Engineer Simput Eagles Dafup, a quiet gentleman per excellence, was on Monday, January 8, 2018, brutalised, tortured and whisked away from his residence in Jos by men we suspect were from the DSS for allegedly converting one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda from Islam to Christianity.”

Mrs. Dafup said the heavily armed men who arrived in five Hilux vehicles assaulted even passersby.She said: “It has become worrisome for me. As I address you, now, I do not know where my son is.”The JNI and the complainants were said to have visited the DSS office in Jos where officers kept sealed lips and directed all enquiries to the agency’s Abuja headquarters.

 

El-Zakzaky Speaks, Says I’m Fine

Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that he is fine.

El-Zakzaky was recently rumoured to have died in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) where he has been detained for about two years.

Text messages and WhatsApp messages were circulated alleging that El-Zakzaky died in custody caused by wounds suffered from gunshots during his arrest.

El-Zakzaky spoke to journalists’ yesterday afternoon at a safe facility in Abuja.

He reportedly walked towards the journalists in a white flowing gown with a turban.

The short conversation with the journalists was reported thus:

Journalist: Good afternoon, sir?

Sheikh Zakzaky: How are you? Journalist: Can we have a word with you? Sheikh El-Zakzaky: If they agree and allow me (He says so jokingly)

Journalist: How are you feeling now?

Sheik El-Zakzaky: I am feeling better. The security officers have allowed me to see my doctor, my personal doctor. I thank God, I am improving.

Journalist: Do you have anything to add.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky: I thank you for all your prayers

Journalist: Thank you sir

Sheikh ElZakzaky: Thanks (As he walks away)

Also speaking to journalists, a DSS official, Nnenna Nnochiri said: “In the last few days, two days to be particular, yesterday importantly, there was unfounded rumour which was spread across Nigeria that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shiek El-Zakzaky, passed on in the custody of the Service.

“As you can see in the last few minutes and you also interviewed him and he by himself pointedly told
you that he is okay.”

He added that, “every doubting Thomas across Nigeria and those who wanted to capitalise on the said rumour to cause trouble in Nigeria have seen that the man is alive. He’s on his feet, he is hale and hearty. He is up and doing, and you saw him with his wife.

“The fact is that some people wanted to take advantage of some developments in some parts of the country to further make trouble and mobilise the people to engage in untoward activities, which can impact negatively on the security, stability and order of the nation.

“The fact is that now that they have seen that the man is alive, now that they have seen that nothing happened to the man, it is our believe that such persons who ab ignitio, had planned to take advantage of such situations and who have seen that the rumour is unfounded should desist from any plan they must have put in place.

“Nigeria must remain very stable, Nigerians for us must trust the government and security agencies to provide enabling environment for citizens to pursue their legislate business,” he said.

Source: DAILY TRUST

Magu, Daura Appear Before Senate Panel

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, are before a Senate panel to discuss the clash between EFCC and DSS officials.

The clash began when operatives of the EFCC attempted to arrest former head of NIA, Mr Ayo Oke, and the former DSS DG, Ita Ekpeyong on November 21.

It was gathered that the EFCC operatives had arrived at the official residences of the former heads of the agencies located at numbers 21 and 46, Mamman Nasir Street in Asokoro, Abuja to effect the arrest only to meet resistance by the operatives of the NIA and DSS.

Read Also: DSS, NIA Operatives Stop EFCC From Arresting Oke, Ekpeyong

Thereafter, the Senate on November 22 mandated an ad-hoc committee to investigate the cause of the incident and report back to it.

Subsequently, the EFCC stated that it had obtained two separate warrants from a court to arrest the former bosses, adding that it also got the permission of the court to search their residences.

Reacting to the situation afterward, the EFCC boss, Magu, said there is no going back on the plan to have the former heads of the security agencies arrested.

“We are not discouraged at all. The law must take its course, nobody is above the law,” he said.

Ekpeyong who served as the head of the DSS from 2010 to 2015, had been invited by the EFCC for his alleged role in the arms scam involving a former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired), and other service chiefs who have since been arraigned.

Oke, on the other hand, was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over the N13 billion found in an Ikoyi, Lagos apartment, said to belong to the NIA.

DSS Prevents EFCC From Arresting Ekpeyong

Drama is currently playing out at the home of a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, Ekpenyong Ita, as men of the DSS are preventing operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from arresting him.
Our correspondent who is also at the scene, reports that EFCC operatives arrived at the scene around 11am with an arrest warrant.
The EFCC officials and armed policemen numbering over 50 attempted to enter the premises located at 46 Mamman Nasir Street,  Asokoro but the heavily armed DSS officials, some of which are wearing masks, refused to allow the EFCC men inside.
The DSS officials simply said they were acting on “orders from above”.
Ita has been under investigation for his alleged role in the disbursement of funds meant for arms.
While a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (Retd.) and other service chiefs have been arraigned,  the DSS has refused to release its own officials for probe.
The DSS and the EFCC have been at loggerheads for over a year which culminated in the DSS sending a report to the Senate not to confirm the acting Chairman of the EFCC,  Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

My Encounter With DSS Operatives – Osun Defender Reporter

Toba Ajisafe, is a reporter working directly with the Online Unit of the OSUN DEFENDER Newspaper in Osogbo, State of Osun. He was attacked along with another reporter of The Point Newspaper, Timothy Agbor by officials of Directorate of State Security (DSS) on Monday, 11th September, 2017 while covering the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) procession on the call for Local Government Autonomy within the premises of the Osun House of Assembly. Toba recount his ordeal and that of his colleague.

I received a call by 7:14am on Monday morning from a colleague of mine who is a correspondent of Nigerian Tribune, Oluwole Ige, informing me of Nigeria Union Of Local Government Employees (NULGE) procession  that will commence by 10:00AM over ‘’Local Government Autonomy”.  I gave him my word that I will be there to report the procession.

By 9:00AM, I got to the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Correspondent Chapel, Fagbewesa street, Osogbo to recharge my phone for a while before I join the procession. I was told that Timothy Agbor will be available too and this made me to put a phone call through to him.

On the line I said, “Hello, I learnt that you will be at the NULGE procession, he responded; Yes! And we both agreed to meet for the assignment.

At 11:43am, I saw the NULGE members at Ola-Iya junction which is not far from NUJ, Correspondent Chapel where I was. Immediately, I took my phone and went to join the procession at Ola-Iya where I started taking pictures and recording the peaceful procession of NULGE members. I saw Timothy Agbor at the procession.

Timothy and I joined the procession as they march through Ogo-Oluwa, but the unfortunate scene happened by 12:06PM when we got to Ataoja High School before the Federal High Court when a lady walk up to us and questioned us. Her approach revealed that she wanted to threaten us.

She asked with a bold and authoritative voice; Who are you? We responded that she should identify herself before we  can. We had to ask because we noticed that her mouth was smelling booze.

She asked again and we told her that we are journalist. We requested for her identity which I think got her angry. She pressed further that “Where is our Identity Card” we said we have to know you if we will show you our Identity card. Her response was, “It seems you are not both serious and I will teach you a lesson of your life today”. She summoned an armed colleague of her. The Operative walked down at us, then the lady instructed him that, ”this two guys are obstinate, we need to teach them lesson”

We smiled, thinking it was a costly joke but the manner at which the man grabbed my jacket I was wearing and as she held Timothy by the belt suggested that they were at war with us. Immediately I took my phone out to make voice recording unknowing to the two officers. After then, we were dragged to two different areas by the roadside in front of the Ataoja High School. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a slap on Timothy’s cheek and as he wanted to retaliate the armed man left me alone to join his female accomplice in beating Timothy. I moved closer to the spot where they were beating my colleague, I saw Timothy’s phone on the floor which I picked and put in my inner jacket pocket. Then, I was tapping the male officer for us to settle this amicably because we didn’t have anything to fight back, all we could settle was peace. They kept on beating Timothy and I was shouting and beckoning on people to save my colleague from the unreasonable aggressive officers, the other armed man used his gun to push me back. As I wanted to walk back to him, he cocked the gun intending to shoot me. As I saw the intention I ran away to call a suspected police officer who has been monitoring the procession to ensure law and order is maintained. I ran to him in haste for his intervention as I took my refuge in other security agents there. What surprises me was that the police I called for intervention couldn’t solved the issue rather he was walking away from where Timothy was been battered. This made me to questioned him that, “Sir, can’t you do anything about it? And he responded” I have been slapped by the lady who you said slapped your colleague and his other officer is threatening to shoot if I made more effort. So to keep and sustained peace, I have to walk away and prayed that they shouldn’t kill your partner”

This message prompted me to fear the two operatives more and then I picked my mobile phone to do a video recording of how the whole thing was happening in case it got out of hands, so that we could have something to lay reference on.

I did the video recording as the lady was also threatening to make sure I lose the phone. That time I have made up my mind that death is the next option for both of us at that scene. By that time the male officer has held Timothy Agbor by jacket and he was making phone calls as his gun was hanged around his neck. With the help of the people particularly NULGE members, Timothy was rescued from the hand of the officer as I save the recording.

Timothy was release and we were both walking side by side with each other as we thought the whole issue has been resolved. My phone was in my hands as I was trying to send some pictures of the procession to my media house but with subtlety the male Operative came to me and snatched the phone from me. I did not make any attempt to get my phone since he once threatened to shoot. We were still following the procession when I returned Timothy’s phone to him to call the Union Chairman or Secretary for them to know what has transpired. That time we were approaching Osun State House of Assembly’s gate when another man suggested to be a peace maker called the NUJ chairman, Mr. Abiodun Olalere on phone so that we could identify ourselves which we did.

So, when they sighted another phone I removed from my pocket, I think they thought the video recording is on the phone, unknowingly to myself and Timothy, the two officers including the one that appeared to be a peacemaker started beating and kicking me to the point I fell inside a gutter, I was so furious that this is an attempt to kill us. I manage to stood my ground but the armed man held the gun to shoot again and I took to my heels out of the Assembly. As I got outside I saw the camera man of Channels Television which I think they might attack with the camera in his hands. Before I got back to where I left Timothy I noticed that members of NULGE wanted to mob the two officers which made them to take refuge at a security post house by locking themselves inside the post. As at that time, they have smashed my phone screen, while the phone of Timothy was broken into two. Then, they called for reinforcement and they were in the process of arresting us when our Union leaders, that is NUJ got to the scene. With the intervention of the secretary of NUJ, Correspondent chapel, Mr. Niyi and Chairman, Mr. Hammed Oyegbade, they couldn’t whisk us away but we were told to report to their station.

After much ado, the Chairman took us to the office of the DSS.

Three of us were kept in a room and we were trying to explain what happened when the lady that slapped my colleague from the outside of the office closed the window that was opened before we came. That was when we knew that she has been influenced by a spirit we couldn’t identify.

Twenty minute later we were taken to another office of one short plumpy man who I think is the Deputy Director of the Service.

He greeted us and ordered for three more officers as he asked us to explain our ordeal which we did. Their response was that we assaulted their officer by slapping her, which Timothy kicked against saying “What do we have to assault an armed officer? “They started threatening to arrest us if we put on arrogance posture in their presence.  This made us to calm as they try to force their friendship on us.

They took us to their health center, which I see as an aberration to take care of us after which they pleaded to the Chairman of NUJ, Correspondent Chapel to kill the story for further crisis and my phone was released to me.

My Encounter With DSS Operatives – Osun Defender Reporter

Toba Ajisafe, is a reporter working directly with the Online Unit of the OSUN DEFENDER Newspaper in Osogbo, State of Osun. He was attacked along with another reporter of The Point Newspaper, Timothy Agbor by officials of Directorate of State Security (DSS) on Monday, 11th September, 2017 while covering the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) procession on the call for Local Government Autonomy within the premises of the Osun House of Assembly. Toba recounts his ordeal and that of his colleague.

 

I received a call by 7:14am on Monday morning from a colleague of mine who is a correspondent of Nigerian Tribune, Oluwole Ige, informing me of Nigeria Union Of Local Government Employees (NULGE) procession  that will commence by 10:00AM over ‘’Local Government Autonomy”.  By 9:00AM, I got to the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Correspondent Chapel, Fagbewesa street, Osogbo to recharge my phone for a while before I join the procession. I was told that Timothy Agbor will be available too and this made me to put a phone call through to him.

At 11:43am, I saw the NULGE members at Ola-Iya junction which is not far from NUJ, Correspondent Chapel where I was. Immediately, I took my phone and went to join the procession at Ola-Iya where I started taking pictures and recording the peaceful procession of NULGE members. I saw Timothy Agbor at the procession.

Timothy and I joined the procession as they march through Ogo-Oluwa, but the unfortunate scene happened by 12:06PM when we got to Ataoja High School before the Federal High Court when a lady walk up to us and questioned us. Her approach revealed that she wanted to threaten us.

She asked with a bold and authoritative voice; Who are you? We responded that she should identify herself before we  can. We had to ask because we noticed that her mouth was smelling of booze.

She asked again and we told her that we are journalist. We requested for her identity which I think got her angry. She pressed further asking for our identity card, of which we  requested she produced hers first. Her response was, “It seems you are not both serious and I will teach you a lesson of your life today”.

She summoned an armed colleague of hers. The Operative walked down at us, then the lady instructed him that, ”this two guys are obstinate, we need to teach them a lesson”

We smiled, thinking it was a costly joke but the manner at which the man grabbed the jacket I was wearing and as she held Timothy by the belt suggested that they were at war with us. Immediately I took my phone out to make voice recording unknowing to the two officers. After then, we were dragged to two different areas by the roadside in front of the Ataoja High School. Suddenly, I heard the sound of a slap on Timothy’s cheek and as he wanted to retaliate the armed man left me alone to join his female accomplice in beating Timothy. I moved closer to the spot where they were beating my colleague, I saw Timothy’s phone on the floor which I picked and put in my inner jacket pocket.

 

Then, I was tapping the male officer for us to settle this amicably because we didn’t have anything to fight back, all we could  do was settle. They kept on beating Timothy and I was shouting and beckoning on people to save my colleague from the unreasonable aggressive officers, the other armed man used his gun to push me back. As I wanted to walk back to him, he cocked the gun intending to shoot me. As I saw the intention I ran away to call a suspected police officer who has been monitoring the procession to ensure law and order is maintained.

I ran to him in haste for his intervention as I took my refuge in other security agents there. To my surprise the police I called for intervention couldn’t solved the issue rather he was walking away from where Timothy was been battered.

His decision to ignore my plea for help prompted me to question him, I remember saying;

“Sir, can’t you do anything about it?

And he responded; “I have been slapped by the lady who you said slapped your colleague”

Terrified with the new information I just heard, I picked my mobile phone and made a video recording of the horrific situation that was clearly beyond my control. In the process of making the video, the lady kept on with her threats.

At a point the male officer held Timothy Agbor by his jacket and was making phone calls with his gun hanged around his neck. Eventually with the help of the people particularly NULGE members, Timothy was rescued from the hand of the officer.

 

Timothy was release and we were both walking side by side with each other as we thought the whole issue has been resolved. My phone was in my hands as I was trying to send some pictures of the procession to my media house but with subtlety the male Operative came to me and snatched the phone from me. I did not make any attempt to get my phone since he once threatened to shoot. We were still following the procession when I returned Timothy’s phone to him to call the Union Chairman or Secretary for them to know what has transpired. At this point we were approaching Osun State House of Assembly’s gate when another man suggested to be a peacemaker called the NUJ chairman, Mr. Abiodun Olalere on phone so that we could identify ourselves which we did.

 

So, when they sighted another phone on me, the two officers including the one that appeared to be a peacemaker started beating and kicking me to the point when I fell into a gutter. I managed to stand my ground but the armed man held the gun to shoot again and I took to my heels out of the Assembly. Before I got back to where I left Timothy I noticed that members of NULGE wanted to mob the two officers which made them to take refuge at a security post house by locking themselves inside the post.

At this point our phones had been smashed. Then, they called for reinforcement and they were in the process of arresting us when our Union leaders, that is NUJ got to the scene. With the intervention of the secretary of NUJ, Correspondent chapel, Mr. Niyi and Chairman, Mr. Hammed Oyegbade, they couldn’t whisk us away but we were told to report to their station.

After much ado, the Chairman took us to the office of the DSS.

After almost an hour of waiting we met with the Deputy Director of the Service.

 

He greeted us and ordered for three more officers as he asked us to explain our ordeal which we did. Their response was that we assaulted their officer by slapping her, which Timothy kicked against saying.

They started threatening to arrest us if we continued with any form of  arrogance in their presence.  This made us stay calm as they tried to force their friendship on us.

They took us to their health center, which I see as an aberration to take care of us after which they pleaded to the Chairman of NUJ, Correspondent Chapel to kill the story for further crisis and my phone was released to me.

 

CDHR Condemns DSS’s Attack On Osun Journalists

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) in Osun State has described as barbaric and condemnable, the unprovoked attack on journalists by overzealous officers of the Department of State Service (DSS).

CDHR in a press release signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Comrades Wahab Akinrinade and Emmanuel Olowu respectively on Wednesday said the attitude of the DSS operatives was absurd, cruel and criminal, saying that it was unbecoming of civilized security agents.

The human rights group stated that it was becoming alarming the rate at which journalists were being molested and attacked by security operatives in the state, recalling that officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) had early this year attacked the state correspondent of HallMark Newspaper, Mr Segun Adeyemi.

Calling on the DSS authority to sanction the errant officers and call his other operatives to order, CDHR warned that such attack on newsmen must not be swept under the carpet.

The group maintained that if the perpetrators of the attacks are left unpunished, it would further endangers the lives of journalists in the state, adding that it would smear the image of the security agencies if the case was not properly investigated and prosecuted.

The statement reads in part: “The attack on journalist by DSS operatives is highly condemnable. It is barbaric and absurd to see security agents attacking newsmen with impunity. This reminds us of the dark days of military era.

”Journalists are not just workers; they are the eyes and ears of the public. They are members of the fourth estate of the realm who are constitutionally empowered to perform their duties. Injustice to one is injustice to all.

“An attack on any journalist is an attack on all; and a threat to democracy. If journalists could be attacked freely by the DSS officers, who is save from the uncivilized and criminal act? It is a dangerous trend seeing DSS officers, who were supposed to be civil, informed and enlightened waging war against journalists.”

NUJ, DSS Resolve Crisis

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and the Department of State Security Service (DSS) said they have resolved the crisis between the two parties over the brutalization of two members of the NUJ, Timothy Agbor of The Point Newspaper and Toba Ajisafe of Osun Defender Newspaper.

A statement by the state Chairman of NUJ, Abiodun Olalere said, a parley was held at the instance of the state council, where “areas of disagreement  between both parties were critical examined and resolved”.

The DSS representatives reportedly apologised for the brutalization of the journalists.

The statement read further: “Suggestions were offered and accepted for a mutual working relationship. “The two parties promised to respect one another in the discharged of their duties for the overall development of the society”, the statement read.

The two journalists were on Monday molested and brutalised by the operatives of the DSS, while covering a solidarity procession in support of Local Government Autonomy at the Osun State House of Assembly.

CDHR Condemns DSS’s Attack On Osun Journalists

The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) in the State of Osun has described as barbaric and condemnable, the unprovoked attack on journalists by overzealous officers of the Department of State Service (DSS).

CDHR in a press release signed by its Chairman and Secretary, Comrades Wahab Akinrinade and Emmanuel Olowu respectively on Wednesday said the attitude of the DSS operatives was absurd, cruel and criminal, saying that it was unbecoming of civilized security agents.

The human rights group stated that it was becoming alarming the rate at which journalists were being molested and attacked by security operatives in the state, recalling that officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) had early this year attacked the state correspondent of HallMark Newspaper, Mr Segun Adeyemi.

Calling on the DSS authority to sanction the errant officers and call his other operatives to order, CDHR warned that such attack on newsmen must not be swept under the carpet.

The group maintained that if the perpetrators of the attacks are left unpunished, it would further endangers the lives of journalists in the state, adding that it would smear the image of the security agencies if the case was not properly investigated and prosecuted.

“The attack on journalist by DSS operatives is highly condemnable. It is barbaric and absurd to see security agents attacking newsmen with impunity. This reminds us of the dark days of military era.

“Journalists are not just workers; they are the eyes and ears of the public. They are members of the fourth estate of the realm who are constitutionally empowered to perform their duties. Injustice to one is injustice to all.

“An attack on any journalist is an attack on all; and a threat to democracy. If journalists could be attacked freely by the DSS officers, who is save from the uncivilized and criminal act? It is a dangerous trend seeing DSS officers, who were supposed to be civil, informed and enlightened waging war against journalists.”

 

NUJ Seeks Justice Over Assault On Journalists By DSS

By Editor

 

 

Yesterday Mr Timothy Agbor of the The Point Newspaper and Mr Toba Ajisafe of OSUN DEFENDER, narrowly escaped death when they were assaulted by operatives of Directorate Of State Security in the state of Osun.

 

As a result of this, the Nigeria Union of Journalist, State of Osun chapter called on President Muhammodu Buhari to as a matter of urgency intervened and demanded sanction of the erring officers.

 

It would be recalled that two operatives of the Department of State Services battered and molested the journalists who were covering a peaceful protest by the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees in the state.

 

In a statement by the Secretary of NUJ, Correspondent Chapel, State of Osun, Mr. Olaniyi Ajibola on Tuesday, described the treatment meted to the journalists as degrading of the agency status.

 

It was stated, that, “It is indeed imperative and expedient for us as a union to put issues in perspective and state our stance, irrespective of the degree of condemnations that have trailed the brutal attack of our member, Mr Timothy Agbor, of the The Point Newspaper and Toba Ajisafe of Osun Defender Newspaper by operatives of Directorate of State Services (DSS), Osun State Command.

 

“We were shocked by the intensity of disdain in which our member was treated on Monday, the bestial conduct of operatives of the secret agency in the past, which has been permanently registered in our psyches gave us a cause to be worried about the safety of our members in the state.

 

“While we are satisfactorily aware of the statutory obligation of the agency, as a security organisation saddle with the responsibility of nipping crimes in the bud through systematic and methodological intelligence gathering, we were taken aback by the negative interpretation of this germane role by the operatives in Osun.

 

“Obviously, the psychological trauma caused by the agency to millions of electorate in the state, in the count down to 2014 gubernatorial election could be better imagined than experienced, when the operatives in masks invaded Osogbo, the state capital with sporadic shootings and overt intent to intimidate and subdue the residents.

 

“Without mincing words, operatives of the agency in Osun Command, by their conduct over the years  appear to be totally bereft of their fundamental role in internal security arrangement, and requisite orientation of civil interaction, more importantly, the statutory obligation of the media in democratic setting.

 

Olaniyi noted, “It is against this backdrop that we call on the presidency to quickly rise up to the occasion and swiftly intervene through it’s appropriate organ, to save our members from further assault and intimidation.

 

 

“We demand for sanction of the erring officers without compromise, and a sound of warning to the command, as we continue to clamour for justice even beyond the shore of the country.

 

 

“We are convinced that our job is perfectly rooted in absolute conviction to serve as illuminators of the society, to make it fair, just, and habitable.