Soldiers Threaten to ‘Skin Alive’ Reporter Investigating Pipeline Vandalism  

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Deji Lambo, Correspondent, Punch Newspapers
Deji Lambo, Correspondent, Punch Newspapers

On April 2, 2020 soldiers attached to the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army threatened to skin aliveDejiLambo, a correspondent with the privately-owned daily newspaper, The Punch, when he visited the scene where suspected vandals ruptured a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) along the Long Bridge on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State.

Deji’s questions to elicit details of the incident were ignored by the soldiers, who threatened him and ordered him to leave the area.

One of the soldiers said, “Nobody invited the media, please go; we did not call The Punch or any other newspaper. We don’t want media coverage. You can go; if we need you, we will call you. If you do not leave this place, I will tell a soldier to skin you alive.”

However, one of the soldiers at the scene, Lateef, who introduced himself as a public relations officer of the 81 Division, requested Deji’s phone number with a promise to contact him whenever there was a need to involve the media.

The journalist called the Director of Army Public Relations, Army Headquarters, Abuja, Col. Sagir Musa, to intervene, but while they were speaking, one of the soldiers ordered him to cut the call.

Afterwards, the soldier reminded him, “I have warned you, leave this place or I will order a soldier to skin you alive.”

Deji later got in touch with the spokesperson for the 81 Division, Kevin Adegoke, who promised to inquire about the incident and get back to him.