On November 12, 2015 at 2.00pm local time, about ten officials of the Nigerian Prison Service from Kuje Prison in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), descended on Mr. Emmanuel Elebeke, a Vanguard newspaper correspondent at the premises of Court 2 of the FCT High Court, Maitama in Abuja. They brutalized him injuring him on both legs and other parts of his body.
Emmanuel had taken photographs of some murder suspects in a case that came up at the court which the prison officials insist he had no right to do.
Following the adjournment of the matter, the accused persons were being handcuffed preparatory to being returned to prison custody when Emmanuel took some shots of the scene. When the prison officials discovered this, they rushed at him, demanding that he releases his camera. They demanded to know why he took photographs of the scene even though they were no longer in the court room.
Emmanuel refused to release the camera whereupon the prison officials and relatives of the accused persons pounced on him and started beating him and demanded that he must release the camera. The mob attacked him kicking, blowing and hitting him with the butt of a gun. At a point, one of the prison officials named Rita (female) ordered that a pair of handcuffs be removed from one of the accused person’s hands and be used on the journalist.
Overwhelmed, by the assault from the mob, Emmanuel released the camera which the prison officials took away in one of their buses with registration number PS635A01. They insisted that the journalist had no right to take any photograph of the accused and that his camera would remain seized as an exhibit.