By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Personnel of the Nigerian Army and their counterparts from the Nigeria Police Force drafted to the Kaduna Polo Club for the closing ceremony of 2017 International Polo Tournament has physically assaulted a journalist, Jacob Onjewu Dickson, who is an Assistant Secretary of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Kaduna State.
The incident occurred weekend when the victim, alongside other colleagues, approached the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, whose team emerged winners of the Georgian Cup after beating Kaduna Kakuri in a final match watched by several dignitaries.
Mr. Dickson in a statement explained that “We just left the other side of the course, where we went to interview the Minister of State for Aviation when the policemen accosted me on my way back, trailing behind colleagues. One of the policemen with a name tag ‘Ahmed’ asked me for my ID card, and it was shown to him; but he rudely said “go back.”
“Our colleagues told him that I was with them, but he refused to understand. Together with others they started hitting me with their batons.
“The Army security at the area joined them to hit at me, in spite of protests from me that I am a journalist and showing them my ID card,” he said.
The victim journalist told colleagues of his plan to seek redress in the law court where his lawyers will press charges for the assault.
It took the intervention of other journalists before he was admitted back into the presentation area where trophies were being presented.
The OC Murtala Square of the Police, who was visibly angry about the incident, appealed to the journalist to forgive the personnel.
Angry journalists at the venue were also pleaded by the OC and the Army in-charge.