Reporter Covering Election Assaulted by Suspected Political Thugs

Bolanle Olabimtan
Judiciary correspondent, TheCable

TheCable’s judiciary correspondent, Bolanle Olabimtan, was on February 25, 2023, assaulted, injured, and her phone seized by persons suspected to be political thugs while covering the Presidential and National Assembly elections at ward 03, Owa Model Primary School, Ika North-east LGA in Delta State.

Bolanle said at about 4.20PM, some persons, suspected to be political thugs, arrived at the venue in a red Toyota Highlander and a white bus. They ordered officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to discontinue the vote counting while the police officers deployed to the polling unit looked on.

The suspected thugs ordered the electoral officials to move to Ngala Primary School to continue counting but met resistance from some voters who insisted that the votes must be counted at the polling unit.

Bolanle said she had stopped filming when one of the thugs approached and hit her from the back, whereupon, she hit her head on the wall and fell to the ground. She said the thug forcefully collected her phone, went through her private chats, searched her entire gallery, checked her official and election group chats, went on her Instagram page, checked her feed and private DMs, and deleted pictures and videos.

They also threatened to deal with her. All these happened under the rain and the journalist who was already hurt was also shivering from cold.