The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council, and the Nigerian Bar Association in the state have demanded unreserved apology from Edo State Police Command on the assult unleash on the members of the two unions and a council to the state by the officers of the command.
Mr. Lucky Isibor, a journalist and Matthew Edaghese Esq, were reportedly assulted on Monday, May 19 at Urokpota Mobile Court by one Sgt Agatha, and DSP Imoekeme Isa, when the duo made an attempt to rescue state’s counsel, Ama-Iyamu (female) from the two police officers whom they were assulting.
Report says trouble started when Counsel to the state (female lawyer) tried to check excesses of DSP Isa on his indiscriminate arrests and raids on food items against the Attorney General’s earlier warning against it.
Irked by the lawyer’s caution, DSP Isa reportedly attacked the female lawyer which prompted Mr. Isibor, journalist attached to Edo NBA mobile court monitoring team to intervene and was consequently rough handled and beaten along with Edaghase Esq at the mobile court.
According to report, it took the intervention of some good spirited individuals to rescue Isibor, Edaghase and the state Counsel from the rampaging policemen.
Addressing newsmen at a NUJ/NBA joint briefing, Chairman, Edo NUJ, Roland Osakwe, said the briefing became necessary as a result of rising human rights abuse by security agencies.
Describing the urgly incident as affront on the NUJ and the NBA, and an attack on the system set up by the government, the NUJ chairman demanded unreserved apology from the State Police Command on before Tuesday next week, as he threatened that legal action would be taken if such is not done.
“Since the incident happened on Monday, we have not heard anything from the Command. Even when they have been informed of the incident. We want to use this opportunity to call on the Command that we demand an unreserved apology from them within now and next week Tuesday. Failure to do so, we will not hesitate to take to the other option which we know we can also use in seeking our redress.
“These police officers: DSP Isa and Sgt Agatha should not be allowed to be in the police force because this is not an era of Banana republic where anybody choses what he or she wants to do. In fact, they are bringing shame to the police force”, Osakue said.
In his part, chairman, NBA, Benin Branch, Collins Ogiegbean Esq, described the two officers as “habitual persons who have continued to abuse the system.”
Ogiegbean noted that the members who were assulted by these two officers were not the first victim, adding that market women and the poor are their regular victims.
He said, “DSP Isa and Sgt Agatha seem to have a long history. In fact, you can call them habitual persons who have continued to abuse the system; they have abuse the system habitually. They are known for this act.
“The Journalist and NBA member that were assulted are not their first victim. In fact, the market women, and the very poor people are their regular victim. They go to the market place to carry what they call perishable, and they bring it to the mobile court and leave the perishable to perish.”
Describing free press and fearless Bar as sin qua non to certainty in any society, the NBA chairman called for sanction of these two officers from the state Police Command.