Chairman of the Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioner and publisher of Informant247, a digital newspaper, Salihu Shola Taofeek, was on Friday subjected to severe battering and detained by some personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The medium’s Editor-in-Chief, Salihu Ayatullah and Eyitanwa Lawal, a journalist also suffered harassment.
While relating his ordeal, the publisher noted that on Friday around 1:00 pm, one of his cousins who was apprehended by the NSCDC called him and he went to the Corps’ office in company of Salihu Ayatullahi and his private lawyer.
Shola said he was told the issued would be resolved amicably as he was directed to the Peace and Conflict Resolution unit of the Command where he was apprised the detainee was involved in a brawl with wife of one of their officers, there leading to his detention.
He furthered that, “When we reached the Station Office, one operative informed us that the issue is a family one and we should leave and allow their other ‘customers’ to have space. Afterwards, Eyintanwa Lawal a journalist colleague with Sobi FM and a lawyer showed up, inquiring about circumstances that led to the incident from the detainee, but she was not dignified with a response. The officer at the counter started hurling vulgar words against her. After several attempts, she was not permitted with the suspect detainee in their custody.
“I jokingly told her and three other colleagues of hers who were ferociously abusing Barr. Eyitanwa, that they referred to us as their customers but they are not treating us with good human relations.
“unknowingly, my humorous response to their early comment about them not treating fairly as their customers had sparked anger in the officers, thus they called their colleagues numbering about 30, who did not waste time to mercilessly beat us. They even tore our clothes.
“They even ceased our phones, profiled us as suspects and detained us for more than 4 hours.
“After realizing the their wrongdoing and the impending consequences, after getting wind that we were journalists and lawyer, they eventually let us out of the cell.
“They forced us to unlock our phones, thereby causing violation of our privacy. They also deleted confidential pictures and videos after which they insisted and forced me to write an undertaking so that I will not take the case to court. One officer at the counter dictated the contents of the statement to me.
“The argument lasted more than 3 hours, until we threatened and in the long run, we bowed to their whims and caprices as we wrote as they dictated and we were released without bail at around 8:45pm”