AMDF, Tackles Police for Harassing Journalists on Duty

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), on Monday tackles members of the Nigerian Police, for harassing journalists who are out on their duty of information gathering.

Police in Zaria, Kaduna State, had on Wednesday August 12 arrested and detained Mustapha Yauri , a Zaria district correspondent of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) for several hours while
covering a rift between trailer drivers and the state’s traffic law enforcement agency, popularly known as KASTELEA.

According to Yauri, he had just concluded his interviews with eye
witness on the scene and had proceeded to take pictures when a plain
clothe officer attempted to seize his phone but he declined.

“The police officer whom I later learned that he is the Divisional Crime
Officer then called some armed police men and told them to take me to
police station to detain me and bring my phone back to him”.

“I was detained at the police station for many hours before the DPO Mr.
Ibrahim Abdullahi came into the office and called me for a meeting in
his office where he apologized for what happened to me”, says local

But AMDF, in a statement signed by it’s Program Officer, Miss Joy Gadani, advised that Police in Nigeria must ensure proper conduct of personnel and desist from unlawful harassment of journalists in the discharge of their

AMDF, quoted Yauri as saying, “it was the most embarrassing thing that
could happen to him, although the District Police Officer (DPO)
apologized, the officer responsible insisted he did nothing wrong worth

The chairman, Nigeria union of Journalists (NUJ) Kaduna Council,
Comrade Adamu Yusuf also spoke to AMDF Press Freedom desk and he
lamented the ignorance of some men of the Nigeria Police Force who still
harass journalists on duty even with proper identification.

Security operatives must learn to draw the line between performing their
duties of securing lives and property and the abuse of power given to
them by the constitution.

“AMDF strongly condemns the harassment and consequent detention of Mustapha Yauri; we are calling on the Nigerian Police Force to give its
men necessary enlightenment on the indispensable role of journalists in
the society, and ensure proper conduct of personnel.

“Journalists in Nigeria must be allowed to perform their duties free from
harassment as the fourth estate of the realm.” The statement added.


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