Policemen Brutalise Punch Newspaper Reporter

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Mr. Matthew Agbaje, a reporter of the Punch newspaper

On July 18, 2022, some bribe-seeking policemen at Berger Bus-Stop area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway brutalised Mr. Matthew Agbaje, a reporter with The Punch newspaper for recording their illegal activities with the camera on his mobile phone.

Narrating his ordeal, Matthew said he was on his way to the office and as soon as he descended from the pedestrian bridge at Berger Bus-Stop, on the lane going to Ogun State, he noticed about five policemen dragging a bus driver after he had protested attempts to impound his vehicle over an alleged offence. He said he decided to record the incident with his phone.

He said one of the officers, who suspected something odd, collected his phone and dragged him to their vehicle and asked me to unlock the phone, while others punched him with their fists.

According to him, the officers all shouted at him at the same time and queried him for using his phone to cover the scene. His left hand was handcuffed to the bus, while he was slapped on the face and in his right eye.

They intensified the attack after he identified himself as a journalist.

He was forced to unlock his phone giving them access to view the clip where they were assaulting the bus driver, which made them hit him more on the back. They accused him of trying to implicate them.

Matthew said: “They continued hitting me as one of the officers holding a baseball bat threatened to break my legs with it. He said, ‘Let me see how you will go to incident scenes to record.’ I started begging them to stop hitting me.

“One of the officers said, ‘Allow him to go, we have deleted the video on his phone and dealt with him.”

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, a superintendent of police, when contacted said a report must be made to the nearest police station.

He added that the Divisional Police Officer of the jurisdiction where the incident occurred is unaware of this unofficial activity of the policemen.

He however, advised that a report should be made in order for the police to follow it up with an investigation to fish out the culprits and sanctioned appropriately.