Newspaper Correspondent Assaulted Over Covid-19 Investigation

State Security Service (DSS)
State Security Service (DSS)

On March 28, 2020 an operative of the Department of State Security (DSS) assaulted the Imo State Correspondent of Leadership newspaper, Mrs. Angela Nkwo-Akpolu, while she was taking pictures of a hotel in Owerri where guests were forcibly quarantined by security agents allegedly because the hotel failed to comply with government’s directives on checking the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The DSS operative reportedly manhandled Ms Nkwo-Akpolu, forcibly seized a pair of prescription eye-glasses belonging to her as well as her ipad and deleted several pictures she had taken. The security agent stopped short of beating her up and smashing her ipad on the ground owing to the intervention of the policemen present at the scene.

Narrating her ordeal, Ms Nkwo-Akpolu said: “Due to repeated calls by colleagues to confirm if there was an incident at Fancy hotel, I volunteered to go get pictures. I had taken one or two from the comfort of my car. But when accosted by one of the security operatives, I introduced myself and he said no problems.

“Within the twinkle of an eye, this guy wearing DSS t-shirt, just walked up to me, seized my glasses and iPad and made attempts to beat me, save for the policemen with them who immediately tried to broker peace.

“As calmly as I could, I explained that I only came to get pictures as directed by the head office but the guy kept pushing me. I later collected my stuff but he had deleted several pictures. The policeman had stopped him from smashing it on the floor.

“After several appeals to shift because I was thoroughly shaken, I entered my car and drove off. Meanwhile the hotel is sealed with two security vehicles in front. I saw about five officials.”