Officers of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Anambra State on Saturday brutalized an Anambra state journalist Izunna Okafor.
Over 10 who descended on the journalist , accused media of being the problem of Nigeria.
Mr Okafor, a reporter ,was coming from Nnewi ,where they he was invited to cover the Anambra South Rally of the Soludo Ambassadors,when over 10 staff of NSCDC descended on him.
It was gathered that the journalist was in the same bus provided by the organizer of the rally to convey him and the staff of the Civil Defence officials from Awka to the venue of the Anambra South Rally of the Soludo Ambassador and also bring back to Awka.
Recounting his ordeal in the hands of the agency Staff, the journalist said the trouble started when he wanted to alight at the UNIZIK Junction, Awka, from the bus that was conveying them.
According to him, after he severally informed and reminded the driver that he would alight at the UNIZIK Junction, which he ignored on the instruction of the Civil Defence officers, who insisted that everybody must remain in the bus and follow them to the very last bus stop where they themselves would alight.
He said it was until he spoke with a loud voice before some other civil defence officials and some attendants of the rally in the same bus then told the driver to stop for him to alight.
He said when he alighted, he could not see his second phone which fell out inside the bus when the driver was on a high-speed. However, according to him, as he was informing them that his phone fell off inside the bus and that he would want to pick it, the aggressive civil defence officers ordered the driver to zoom off moving without listening to him.
He said as he was stretching his hand to request for the phone from the person who volunteered to pick it for him, one of the Civil Defence officials attached to the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) callously ordered the driver to speed off, and then furiously jammed the door of the bus, leaving him with severe hand injuries caused by the forceful and unexpected locking of the bus door.
Okafor, who was in severe pains said he had no other option but to board another commercial transport to the place where the Civil Defence officers said would be the last bus stop.
According to him, when he got there, as he sought an explanation from the particular officer for his action, the situation escalated further and aggravated to a chaos as the officer began questioning him on what gave him the boldness to ask him such question as a uniformed and armed man.
He said while the Civil Defence officer began to raise his voice at him, he conked his gun, while his colleagues, numbering about 11, rushed out and irrationally descended on him, physically assaulting him, kicking and hitting him with gun heads.
Okafor said some of the Civil Defence officers also conked their guns and even threatened to shoot him while beating him up, but for the pleas of some other people who were there witnessing what was happened.
According to him, officers also accused Nigeria journalists of being major part of Nigeria’s problem, while they themselves stand and suffer under the sun to protect the country and her citizens.
According to the journalist, it took the intervention of Mr. Ossy Onuko, the Managing Director of the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) to quell the violence.
Despite Okafor eventually retrieving his phone and receiving an apology from the Mr. Onuko, the Civil Defence officers continued threatening him, vowing to track him and further deal with him.
However,Okafor, said he could identify the officers involved in attacking him, saying that he had reported the incident to the Public Relations Officer of the Anambra State Command of the Nigerian civil defence corps, Edwin Okadigbo, who promised to look into the matter.
Meanwhile, the State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Anambra State Command, Mr. Edwin Osuala has ordered for thorough investigations into the case.
The Commandant in a statement by Public Relations Officer of NSCDC DSC OKADIGBO EDWIN
ordered the Deputy Commandant in charge of Investigation and Intelligence Department to immediately commence full scale investigation into the matter with a view to bringing anyone found wanting.
Osuala noted that the NSCDC as a reputable paramilitary agency in a good working relationship with the Nigeria Union of Journalists would stop at nothing in making sure appropriate disciplinary sanctions are meted against any of the personnel found wanting.
“While affirming his unwavering stance against unethical conduct on the part of Officers and Men, the State Commandant further solicited sustained media partnership, cooperation and support of the public in providing timely and relevant information to the Corps in its renewed efforts against security challenges in the state” it stated.