Gov Emmanuel’s security aide assaults journalist

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Akwa Ibom State Council, has condemned an alleged attack on a journalist in the state by a police officer, Ezra Yuguda.

Mr Yuguda, a deputy superintendent of police, is the commandant at the Government House, Uyo.

The officer reportedly assaulted the journalist, Harrison Essien, who works with the state-owned radio station, AKBC-Radio, while he (Essien) was covering the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in the state.

The incident happened on May 22, at the state secretariat of the PDP in Uyo.

The PDP accredited Mr Essien to cover its State and National Assembly primaries.

The journalist told PREMIUM TIMES, on Sunday, the officer slapped him on the face and threw him to the ground.

He said the officer ordered everyone out of the party secretariat at about 10 a.m. and started chasing people out.

The officer allegedly assaulted him when he showed him his press identity card and was trying to explain to him he was accredited to cover the primaries, Mr Essien said.

Two other journalists carried him from the ground and assisted him to a car after the incident, he said.

The NUJ, in a communique issued on June 3 after its Congress, demanded an apology and Mr Yuguda’s removal from the Akwa Ibom Government House.

The communique was signed by the State Chairman of NUJ, Amos Etuk, and the Secretary, Dominic Akpan, among other journalists.

The NUJ has also petitioned the Commissioner of Police in the state, demanding compensation for the assaulted journalist.

The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko Macdon, said he was not aware of the incident.

Mr Macdon requested the communique which our reporter forwarded to him, but did not, however, respond to further calls as at the time of filing this report.

Mr Yuguda was involved in a similar incident in May 2021 when the Nigerian Bar Association in the state staged a peaceful protest at the Government House, Uyo, over the agitation for judiciary autonomy.

In the video clip of the incident posted on Facebook, Mr Yuguda could be heard shouting “I will smoke you if you pass this place,” at the lawyers who wanted to be addressed by the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

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