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Media coalition condemns police assault, detention of Kaduna journalist, demands sanction

THE Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has condemned the assault and detention of a journalist, Gabriel Idibia, in Kaduna State by some officers of the state’s police command.

The group demanded that those involved in his brutalisation and detention must be sanctioned.

This was contained in a statement by the coalition on Saturday, June 22.

Idibia was arrested by some police officers while taking pictures of a herd of cattle being led by police officers along the Kachia Expressway in Kaduna, resulting in traffic gridlock.

According to the statement, the journalist confirmed that he was detained at the Criminal Investigations Department of the Gbasawa Police Station in Kaduna, despite identifying himself as a journalist by showing the officers his identity card.

His mobile phone was seized along with his identity card after which he was taken into custody where he was detained from morning till late evening, and badly beaten up.

“Mr Idibia insists that the physical torture severely affected his eyes forcing him to access eye treatment. His allegations have been corroborated by media reports and an eye witness that was arrested along with him,” the statement read.

The ICIR reported that Idibia was forced to write a statement by the policemen, even though he struggled to see with one of his eyes after being beaten up by the officers. The images he took were also deleted from his phone by the police.

The coalition called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Kayode Egbetokun, to probe the conduct of the officers involved and sanction them appropriately.



    “We find it rather disturbing that men of the Nigeria Police Force not only arrested Mr. Idibia unlawfully but also resorted to assaulting him for simply performing his constitutionally guaranteed duties as a journalist. This is certainly not a practice welcomed in a democratic state like Nigeria and it stands condemned in strong terms,” the statement read.

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    in 2023 alone, at least 39 journalists were harassed in the line of duty by both state and non-state actors.

    Idibia is one of the journalists who were incarcerated and arraigned by the police in Kaduna following his report on the harsh living conditions within the Hajj Camp in the state.

    The report also revealed a lack of basic amenities such as potable water and a proper waste management system at the camp, among other challenges.


    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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