Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command on Sunday attacked a journalist with the Guardian newspaper, Eniola Daniel, stripping him and destroying his phone.

SaharaReporters gathered that Daniel was arrested by a team of policemen led by one Shola Jejeloye at Ladipo auto spare parts market, along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.

The policemen had gathered at the area to destroy shops along the road.

Narrating his ordeal, Daniel said he got a call from the market’s security supervisor that operatives of the Lagos Taskforce were burning tyres and destroying shops along the road.

“So I got to the scene around past 10 am and started taking pictures of the shops destroyed by the Lagos Taskforce, but in less than three minutes, a man in plain clothes suddenly approached me and slapped me multiple times. Other security men bearing arms ran to support him, punching me, and later dragged him into a stationed Black Maria.

“I brought out my identity card and showed the police, but that did not stop them from beating me. One of the policemen called me a bastard.

“After about ten minutes in the van, their commander, Jejeloye, got a call from the Lagos Command headquarters that I should be released. That was when he (Jejeloye) and his boys released me and returned my broken phone,” the journalist told SaharaReporters.

When contacted, Muyiwa Adejobi, spokesperson for the State Police Command promised to get to the root of the matter.

Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force are known for attacking and harassing journalists while they are carrying out their duties.

On October 5, at least five police officers attacked Ebuka Onyeji, a reporter with Premium Times newspaper, while he was covering protests around the Federal Secretariat government buildings in Abuja.

The police officers hit Onyeji in the head and arms with sticks, despite Onyeji identifying himself as a journalist.

On October 11, Gimba Kakanda, a columnist with the Daily Trust newspaper, was attacked by police officers when he tried to pick up his car from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Abuja.

Kakanda said the officers hit him and his friend with sticks, smashed his phone and took him and his friend to a nearby police headquarters after he identified himself as a journalist and showed them his press identification. 

“We are actually looking for your kind,” Kakanda said one of the officers told him in the Pidgin language after he showed them his press pass. 

Kakanda said he and his friend were released the same day without charge, then went to the hospital and found he had sprained his right arm and left wrist. 

Also on October 11, the police attacked Arise Television camera operator, Francis Ogbonna and reporter Ferdinand Duruoha while they were covering protests in Abuja, according to a video shared on Twitter by Arise Television.

In 2019, Victor Ogungbenro, a video journalist with SaharaReporters was beaten and arrested by policemen while he was covering a protest in Lagos state.

According to Ogungbenro, he repeatedly identified himself as a journalist, but the police slapped, kicked, dragged him, and sprayed tear gas into his face.

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