The Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria has condemned the shooting of The Nation’s correspondent, Toba Adedeji, during a protest in Osun State.
As reported, Adedeji was shot by the operatives of the Osun State Police command while covering a students’ protest in Orita Olaiya on Tuesday.
In a statement signed by the National Coordinator of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the group described the incident as an act of terrorism against media freedom.
The group also stated that police operatives have continued to torture and kill journalists in the country because of the failure of the government to deal with cases of police brutality against the men of the press.
“Police operatives have continued to torture and kill journalists because the cases that have happened in recent times were swept under the carpets just as the Rights group said the Police authority is much more concerned about covering up the evil practices of their operatives than ensuring that those who go against the law are sternly reprimanded and sanctioned in line with the due process of the law.”
The group also stated, “it is incumbent on the citizens of Nigeria to resist any attempt by security forces to undermine the enjoyment of the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human rights and must at every time resist the attempt to frustrate the job of the members of the forth estate of the realm whose responsibilities are protected under Section 22 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which makes the media as the conscience of the nation and the Vanguard of good governance. The moment the media becomes too scared to monitor the activities of government then democracy will die a natural death.”
Also, it lamented the ineffective leadership of the police service commission while also calling on The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), to reorganize the hierarchy of the police service community for effective service delivery.
“Due to the ineffective leadership of the Police Service Commission, there is a steady spike in cases of professional misconduct, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to reorganise the hierarchy of the Police Service Commission given that the current leadership has become lethargic and unproductive.”
Furthermore, the group called on the Inspector-General of the Police in Nigeria, Alkali Baba Usman to investigate the unproven attack against Mr. Toba Adedeji and to also ensure the adequate compensation of the victim.
“We also call on the Inspector-General of Police to investigate this act of unprovoked attack against the correspondent of The Nation Newspaper in Osun State and to pay adequate compensation for Mr Toba Adedeji who is the victim of Police aggression…”