The Nigeria Union of Journalists has condemned security agents over attacks on journalists and activists during the trial of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, on Wednesday.
In a statement by Emmanuel Ogbeche and Ochiaka Ugwu, chairman and secretary respectively, the group described the attack as reprehensible and posing a grave danger to the safety of journalists and democracy.
The union berated security operatives for failure to act in the face of violence and aggression against journalists.
Recall that pro-government thugs attacked human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, and other IPOB supporters at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday.
WATCH: How Thugs Sponsored By Buhari Regime Attacked @YeleSowore, Journalists At Court For Nnamdi Kanu’s Trial
FULL VIDEO: https://t.co/L9qadjCCY0 pic.twitter.com/KuDrYg7NCr
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 19, 2022
The NUJ said several journalists were injured during Wednesday’s attack while several equipment including cameras were destroyed.
The statement reads, “We at the NUJ FCT Council find it objectionable, reprehensible and a great disservice that suspected hoodlums will attack journalists and activists who were on their legitimate endeavours at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
“It is even more saddening that during the unwarranted attack on journalists and activists by these dangerous, armed welding elements, officers and men of various security agencies watched idly and did not stop the violence and arrest the perpetrators.”
The union further stated that the continued sanctioning of violence against journalists in the country posed a grave danger to democracy as it constricts the civic space and is an attempt to silence credible voices and media on issues of human rights, good governance and the rule of law.
The union charged security agencies to prove that the disgraceful conduct was not state sponsored by ensuring that “the cameras of Reuters News Agency that was stolen by hoodlums was retrieved, while all elements that are linked to the orgy of violence are found, arrested and prosecuted”.
The statement also noted that if there was unfettered access by journalists to the court, the incident would have been avoided.