Policemen from the Ughelli ‘A’ Division in Delta State on Monday brutalized 3 journalists in the state, NewsNet Nigeria has learnt.
This medium gathered that the policemen attacked the journalists under the watchful eyes of the Divisional Policce Officer (DPO), CSP Asanaenyi Ibok in Ughelli headquarters of Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
The affected journalists, Andrew Unutame of Galaxy TV, Joel Grandball of Pointer Newspaper, Michael Veloh of an online news platform, Politicsgovernance.com were attacked while covering the town hall meeting between APC governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and some selected religious leaders at St Lazarus Christ Church, Ughelli.
The attack on the journalists was led by a police officer, E.K Emmanuel at Oduaran street in Ughelli.
After much brutalization of the journalists, the DPO, asked the 3 journalists to see him in his office today Wednesday.
Narrating their ordeal at the hands of police officers, Comrade Andrew Unutame of Galaxy TV said, “I am and my other colleagues, Joel Grandball, Pointer, and Michael Veloh Politicsgovernance.com an online news platform were returning from an event and encounter a hold up at Oduaran street junction.
“I came down from the vehicle to control the traffic to ease movement and to my surprise, the officer with the name tag, E.K Emmanuel and other cracked their guns threatening shoot at me.
“My colleague who came down from the vehicle were also attacked and brutalized with gun boots, the shoes of Michael Veloh were destroyed, while Joel Grandball was hit on his right eyes.
On his ordeal, Joel Grandball of the Pointer Newspaper said, “When i saw how the police were hitting my colleague, i went to plead with them at Oduaran junction that we are there to help in controlling the traffic, before i could finish talking, same E.K Emmanuel slapped me, and his order colleague hit me on the stomach with boot if his gun.
“As that was not enough, while we were narrating to the DPO, they came beating us in his presence, Emmanuel and others descended on me like a common criminal.
“E.K Emmanuel and other officers at the presence of the DPO threatened to kill us and nothing would happen, while another officer in plain uniform held that he will only served for a year after if he kills any of us.
“The Divisional Police Officer, CSP Asanaenyi Ibok who could not resolved the issue asked us to see him in his office tomorrow (Tuesday).
“We are calling the Inspector General of Police, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ari Mohammed Ari to investigate the matter and bring to book the police officer, E.K Emmanuel to save the life of journalists in the state.
“Today it has happened to us in Ughelli, and probably it might also happened to our other colleagues that are on official assignment just like us. As we have some bad element in the police force like E.K Emmanuel and his like.”
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, in a phone chat with NewsNet Nigeria said the affected journalists were mistaken to be some suspected thugs who wanted to mob Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and his convoy in demand for money from him after a meeting with some leaders on Monday in Ughelli.
Edafe explained that before the police successfully dispersed and arrested some of the thugs and inbound their vehicles traffic had built up.
This, according to him prompted his men to start controlling the traffic only to see three unidentified men doing the same thing.
Not knowing who the three men were he explained, the policemen tried to stop them from controlling the traffic which they were already handling leading to the misunderstanding until they identified themselves as journalists.
Accordingly, the police image-maker added the DPO had to apologise to the journalists and appealed to them to come today Tuesday for further interaction and understanding.