Soldiers Join Hoodlum to Attack Journalist in Abuja

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Mr. Sinafi Omanga
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)

On March 30, 2023, Mr. Sinafi Omanga, a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), was attacked by hoodlums who were supervised and joined by men in military uniform and a woman in mufti. He sustained injuries to his body while glasses were broken.

The attack, according to Sinafi, was led by a man and a woman who identified themselves as soldiers in the Nigerian Army and lasted for about two hours. It took place at Mombasa Street, Wuse Zone 5, in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) District of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

Narrating his ordeal, Sinafi, a co-host of ICIR’s ‘Eye on The Street’, a weekly vox-pop programme, said two men who dressed as military personnel were part of the hoodlums who attacked him.

The journalist had noticed that two men accused of stealing a mobile phone were being subjected to jungle justice and he picked up his device to record the incident. When they mob noticed he was recording, they pounced on him.

Sanafi said they tortured him mercilessly and injured him on the head. They also threatened to kill him. He said a member of the mob, whom others called Dogo, was bent on hitting him with a big rod that could have ended his life. He said Dogo told him he was lucky he could not lay hands on any broken bottle, which he would have apparently used to injure him.

He disclosed that beyond the physical assaults, he was forced to pay the sum of N4,000 into a third party’s account with the name Ikechukwu Emmanuel Duru before they released his phone which they had confiscated. He said the mob that brutalized him also stole his wristwatch, N5,000 cash from his bag, tore his shirt and destroyed his medicated eyeglasses.

He said after destroying his eye glasses, they targeted his eyes which they began to punch

They also deleted important files from his phone, including footage and pictures of the jungle justice being meted out to the two men.