The Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council, has called for the removal of one DSP Ezra Yuguda, for allegedly assaulting an unarmed journalist, Mr. Harrison Essien.
Essien, a judiciary correspondent with the Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation, was said to have been hit on his right eye by the officer, who is the commandant, Government House security.
According to Essien, a scan report conducted by an Opthalmologist at the University of Uyo Teaching hospital indicated that he would not be able to see with his right eyes again.
“He hit my right eyes which I’ve done a scan and the consultant Ophthalmologist at UUTH said I wont be able to see with my right eyes again,” Essien said
However, the union, while condemning the brute force on the journalist, in a communique issued by its chairman, Amos Etuk and the Secretary, Dominic Akpan, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, also demanded for compensation and a written apology for the affected journalist, adding that it would not hesitate to drag the matter to court over failure to meet its demands
The demands were part of the nine points communique issued by the Union at its Congress in Uyo.
The Union had in a petition to the State Police command titled “Attack on AKBC reporter by DSP Ezra Yuguda and demand for Apology and Compensation”, described the attack on the journalist as “irresponsible and uncivilized conduct of senior officer of the Nigeria police paid to protect the lives of the citizens.”
“The unprovoked act of hitting an unarmed Journalist in his eyes is the most irresponsible and uncivilized conduct of a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who is paid with public funds to protect citizens.
“We demand an unreserved apology from DSP Yuguda for the violation of the rights of the journalist and adequate compensation for the harm inflicted on Comrade Essien’s eyes within seven days. Failure to meet above demands will result in protest and a court action against the Police officer.
“The NUJ views the attack on Comrade Essien by the Police officer who left his duties at the Akwa Ibom State Government House, where he is the Commandant, to harass innocent citizens in an event the Governor was not in attendance as irresponsible act,” the union said.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, when contacted, said he had made inquiries on the issue and that the information available to him indicated that nothing of such happened.
He said, however, that there were unauthorized persons at the PDP Secretariat with criminal mindset, adding that in an attempt to drive them the police had to release teargas on them.
Macdon said that the Commissioner of Police, Andrew Amiengheme had ordered investigation into the matter and that he had invited the victim to meet with him, adding that the command will continue to sustain its robust relationship with the NUJ in the State.
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