On November 23, 2021, Mr. Pelu Awofeso, a journalist and winner of the CNN/Multichoice African Journalists Awards for tourism reporting, was assaulted by police operatives while trying to film the harassment of a motorist.
Mr. Awofeso was on his way to the library when the incident happened before the traffic light junction by Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja.
He was making a transaction by a Point of Sale (POS) when officials of a Lagos State Task Force, including police officers, numbering about eight, got out from a commercial bus popularly called ‘danfo’ and tried to forcefully remove the key from a private car.
According to Awofeso, the car owner had resisted, leading to some hot verbal exchanges with the resultant traffic hold up as a result.
Surprised by the actions of the policemen, he brought out his smart phone to capture the scene but before he could start, the gun-toting officials whose name tags were concealed swooped on him, roughened him up, and seized his phone threatening to take him into custody.
He was able to resist with public support. He noted that curiously, all the policemen carrying guns and were without name tags or the tags were deliberately covered.
When he disclosed that he was a journalist and had every right to do his job, one of the senior police officers threatened to have his subordinates bundle him into the bus and take him to the station, and detain him without any consequence.
Luckily his phone was not damaged and he did not sustain any injuries.