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Report: 14 journalists attacked, detained while covering Saturday’s polls

Report: 14 journalists attacked, detained while covering Saturday’s polls
February 28
10:49 2023

At least 14 journalists and media workers were either attacked, detained, or harassed during the presidential and national assembly elections held on February 25. 

In a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), several journalists were also intimidated and beaten by political thugs.

TheCable had reported that Bolanle Olabimtan, its judiciary correspondent, was attacked and injured in Delta.

Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, called on Nigerian authorities to bring to account those responsible for the attacks on journalists.


“Nigerian authorities should immediately and unconditionally release journalist Haruna Mohammed Salisu, and bring to account all those responsible for intimidating and attacking at least 13 other journalists and media workers,” Quintal said.

“Press freedom is an integral component of Nigerian democracy, and the media should be able to cover national polls without fear of reprisals.”

Giving an account of journalists who were attacked, CPJ said when it made calls to the police or party representatives, they either ignored or denied responsibility.


“Police detained Haruna Mohammed Salisu, owner of WikkiTimes, on February 25 in Duguri town, southeastern Bauchi state, shortly after he and other reporters met with the state governor, according to WikkiTimes editor Yakubu Mohammed,” the report reads.

“A group of men beat Dayo Aiyetan, executive director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, tore his clothes, and stole his phone and belongings after he filmed them disrupting the voting at a polling site in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“Youths in Ibadan, Oyo state, attacked a vehicle from the state-owned News Agency Nigeria for covering the elections, one of the crew told CPJ. Yinka Bode-Are, a camera operator, was travelling with a reporter and driver when the vehicle was set upon with sticks and dented.

“Security forces questioned Adesola Ikulajolu, a reporter with the local nonprofit Center for Journalism Innovation and Development, about his work and deleted image folders from his phone as he moved between polling places in Lagos.


“In Agbor town, Delta state, a supporter of the Peoples Democratic Party, one of Nigeria’s main political parties, punched Bolanle Olabimtan, a reporter with the private news website TheCable, and knocked her over, while another seized her phone and deleted photos and video before returning it.

“CPJ called Bauchi police spokesperson Ahmed Mohammed Wakil for comment regarding Salisu’s detention and sent questions via messaging app, which were marked as read, but received no response. Calls to Bauchi Governor Bala Mohammed and one of his aides, Muktar Gidado, went unanswered.

“CPJ’s calls to national police spokesperson Olumuyiwa Adejobi rang unanswered.”





This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.


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