Community Journalist Brutalise by Security Men

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Fashina Shakiru

On December 22, 2022, at about 8.56 am local time, security agents code-named Operation Mesa (Op-Mesa) brutalised Fashina Shakiru, a Lagos-based community journalist who manages Mile 2 Community News.

Narrating his ordeal, Fashina said he was covering the traffic on Mile 2 highway inward Orile in Lagos State with his camera focused on a particular traffic scene when suddenly, one of the Op-Mesa operatives descended on him.

He said the officer fired a barrage of questions at him asking: “Who are you? What are you doing with the video?” he said he identified himself as a reporter and went ahead to show the security man his identity card. He narrated further that while one of the security men was going through his phone, another one came, slapped him and hit him with an iron rod injuring him on the head and continued to harass him. The security man threatened: “If you talk or argue anything, I will shoot you.”

Fashina said he immediately stepped back after the officer threatened to shoot him.

Having checked through his phone to ascertain if the journalist had captured any of their operation in pictures or video and finding nothing, the officer who collected his phone had returned it to him. However, the officer who had assaulted the reporter collected the phone, again threatening to shoot him dead if he got close to him.

He said a man he suspects to be an officer in mufti walked towards and talked with them, and they released his phone back to him.

After the incident, he said he went to a nearby clinic to stitch up the wounds and then to the Satellite Divisional Police Station, Amunwo, to report. At the Police station, he was given a medical report to go to a general hospital in Lagos for proper treatment. He was given a medical report addressed to the medical officer in charge of the Ajeromi General Hospital in the Ajegunle area of Lagos which urged the medical officer to treat him and report any observation and/or treatment to the Investigating Police Officer for further investigation.