THE International Press Centre (IPC) has condemned attacks on journalists during the March 18 governorship and state assembly elections.
The Centre, in a statement released via its twitter page, said the attacks took place in some parts of the country, including Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers states.
IPC said the attacks constitute a violation of the fundamental rights of the affected journalists.
According to the Centre Journalists’ Election Day Safety Desk, AIT reporters and cameramen including Henrietta Oke, Amarachi Amushie and Nkiru Nwokedi were molested and prevented from covering the elections at some polling units in Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo Odofin local government areas of Lagos State by political thugs and hoodlums.
The statement added that the molested journalist Nwokedi temporarily lost her phone before it was recovered with the help of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) men.
IPC stressed that Amushie was also rough handled, and his camera was damaged while the cameraman was beaten in the presence of a political chieftain.
Arise TV News crew comprising reporter Oba Adeoye, cameraman Opeyemi Adenihun and driver Yusuf Hassan were also attacked while covering election process in the Elegushi area of Lagos, according to the statement.
“The cameraman, Opeyemi Adenihun, suffered facial injuries while drones and equipment were seized” according to the news medium.
It stressed that the News Agency of Nigeria’s reporter Adejoke Adeleye was among journalists who were molested in Itori Odo Area, Abeokuta South Local government of Ogun state.
The political thugs equally reportedly assaulted INEC officials with axes and allegedly destroyed ballot boxes.
IPC also detailed how journalists who tried to capture voting in the polling unit of the PDP Governorship candidate in Rivers State were denied access by some “overzealous police officers”.
“The policemen refused passage despite the proof of identity provided by the journalists” the report from Rivers stated.
“Following the attacks on journalists during the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, we had called on the Police, the Political Parties and all concerned to take measures to protect them today. It is therefore worrisome that such attacks have been repeated”, the Press Freedom and Safety Alert Desk Officer of IPC, Melody Lawal added.
Lawal further charged the security agencies to thoroughly investigate the various attacks and ensure that the perpetrators face the consequences of their illegal actions.