Fraud Suspect, Supporters Assault Journalists Covering Trial


Journalists covering a criminal trial at the Abuja High Court in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory were on April 10, 2013, attacked in the court premises by fraud suspects and their supporters in an on-going trial over embezzlement of over NGN40 billion (about US$250 million) Police pension fund.

Supporters of one of the suspects in the trial, Mrs. Uzoma Attang, swooped on journalists who attempted to take photographs of the suspects as they stepped out of the court room.

A supporter of Mrs. Attang manhandled and slapped Mr. Rotimi Osasona, a photojournalist with National Mirror. His camera was damaged by Mrs. Attang’s supporters who tried to shield her from being photographed.

Another accused person, Mrs. Veronica Onyegbula, personally hit Desmond Kolawole, a cameraman with Galaxy Television, who recorded her on video while she was stepping out of the court and attempting to cover her face with an item of clothing.

Other photojournalists were also chased about and assaulted while trying to take photographs of the accused persons who were shielded from the press by their associates and supporters.