Newspaper Correspondent Harassed, Assaulted by Law Enforcement Agents

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Nigeria-Police-Force-e1487770955676On April 27, 2020, The Guardian newspaper’s correspondent, Mr. Seye Olumide, was harassed and assaulted by policemen and officers of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) at a roadblock mounted in front of Makinde Police Station in Oshodi, Lagos State.

Seye was driving to the office through Makinde Street when he was stopped at a roadblock in front of Makinde Police Station by some officers and members of the Lagos Neighborhood Safety Corps (LNSC) on duty. While he still identified himself, two police officers jumped out of a police vehicle that had stopped right behind him and began to manhandle him.

The journalist said he introduced myself but was told to turn back and that even when he tried to make them see that he was on essential duty none of them listened to him.

He said in the process of getting the LNSC officers to reason with him, a bus carrying some officers had queued behind his vehicle and the occupants were shouting at the top of their voices that he should leave the road. He said there was no way he could reverse or make a turn, just as it was not possible for him to climb the barricade.

In the heat of all of these, two gun-wielding officers came down from the bus and tried to deflate vehicle tyres at that point he alighted from the car to explain to them there was no way he could turn since their vehicle was at the back and a barricade in front. In spite of his dilemma and explanations, one of the armed officers suddenly grabbed his shirt by the neck, dragged him to his car and hit his head on the body of the car, threatening to shoot him.

According to Seye, while this was happening, the LNSC officers who had stopped flagged him down kept shouting at him: “You will just die for nothing,” while some of them were threatening to confiscate his car and take it to the station.

Seye was allowed to go after an officer, who had apparently been observing the scenario, emerged from the station and ordered that the barricade be removed for the reporter to go since there was no space for him to move his vehicle out of the way for the police officers.

Seye has lodged a complaint with the Lagos State Police spokesman, BalaElkana, who promised to contact the station’s DPO for necessary verification and action.