Journalist Assaulted While Investigating South-East Nigeria Entrepreneurial Development Centre

Ms. Charity Uwakwe, correspondent of Nigerian Horn Newspaper

On June 30, 2023, Ms. Charity Uwakwe, a correspondent of Nigerian Horn newspaper, was assaulted by some staff of the Ministry of Women Affairs, in Umuahia, Abia State, where she had gone to investigate the disbursement of funds by the management of the South-East Entrepreneurial Development Centre, (SEEDC).

Charity who said she went to the Ministry to ascertain how many indigenes of Abia State benefited from the programme and to also know what other subsequent programmes the Management had in stock for them.

She disclosed that the attack was led by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Mrs. Oluchi Franklin, in the office of the Principal, Skill Acquisitions, a section of the ministry. Charity said Mrs. Franklin accused her of wrongfully recording the conversation and consequently proceeded to physically attack her dragging her mobile phone with her and in the process, she was bruised on her chin bone. Charity added that Mrs. Franklin also grabbed her collar and shook her violently, causing her severe pains in her neck.

Although the reporter insisted that she had not recorded anything and pleaded to be freed from the attack, Mrs. Franklin did not relent but hurled insults at Charity, labelling her a “foolish journalist” and a “roadside journalist.”

The situation got to a point where the PRO and her colleagues threatened to destroy Charity’s phone and detain her until her boss arrived.

For nearly two hours, Charity endured physical and verbal abuse and it wasn’t until news reached the Ministry that individuals from the government house were on their way to intervene that Charity was allowed to leave.