Nigeria: Prison Official Assaults Journalists

This statement was originally published by mfwa.org on June 29, 2016.

On June 28, 2016, a prison official, A. A. Teriba, assaulted some journalists who attempted to take photographs of a convicted armed robber, Femi Adebowale, who was sentenced to death by hanging by a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

The MFWA’s correspondent in Nigeria reported that while Bisi Onanuga, a journalist with The Nation newspapers was trying to take a photograph of the convict who was being led out of the court, Prison officer Teriba pounced on him and ordered him to hand over his mobile phone which he was using to take the photograph.

Officer Teriba reportedly punched Onanuga’s on the chest and tore his shirt.

In order to prevent Teriba from seizing his phone, Onanuga passed the mobile to one Gbenga Adewoye, a journalist with Africa Independent Television. On seeing the phone being passed on to Adewoye, Teriba shifted his aggression to Adewoye whom he punched severally on the chest in an attempt to forcibly seize the phone from him.

It took the intervention of the Director, of  the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), Idowu Alakija, to bring the situation under control.

According to news reports, Teriba had two weeks before the incident, assaulted a correspondent of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Wahab Akinlade, when he took the photograph of one Alhaji Nojeen Abioye, who is standing trial for alleged murder and manslaughter.

The MFWA condemns the attack on journalists by Teriba and calls on the Nigerian Prison Service to call Officer Teriba to order and sanction him for his constant assault on journalists.