On May 25, 2023, at about 10:30 am, operatives of the Oyo State Police Command brutalized and inflicted injuries on Mr. John Alabi, a Silverbird News24 reporter, while he was taking pictures and video-recording policemen dispersing a riotous crowd in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. He was also detained and spent about five hours behind the counter.
John said about five policemen pounced on him while taking photos and making video of them dispersing a rowdy crowd, adding that they took away his phone and prevented him from calling his office.
They beat the reporter with baseball and police batons, he was also hit with the butt of a gun and he sustained injuries including bruises on his face. His clothes were soaked in his blood as a result of the beating.
John said: “While they were beating me, I kept telling them that I’m a journalist but they beat me and injured me a few meters from my eye. They wanted to lock me up but later put me behind the counter. They collected my phone immediately.”
The policemen asked why he was taking pictures of the incident, identifying himself as a journalist, showing them his identity card and holding a microphone with the name of his station did not dissuade them from beating and arresting the journalist.
He was only allowed to make a call at about 3.30 pm.