Oct 27, 2011 – Men of the Nigerian police force attached to the task force of the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on demolition exercise at Wuse area of the city on Wednesday molested a female journalist for taking photos of the demolition exercise.
Michaela Moye, Abuja bureau chief of Daily Times newspapers was harassed and molested by two mobile police corporals who chased her in a bid to seize her camera.
“Who call you come here come snap us, we no invite any journalist come here so why are you snapping the demolition? That is how you people look for trouble up and down. Walahi, if I get you, I will beat you up and break both that camera and your teeth for talking to me like that,” said Suleiman Ibrahim, one of the two policemen.
Residents, colleagues and security operatives of African Times Network have to come to her rescue as the police men chased her and tried to manhandle her, claiming she had no right to take photos of the demolition scene.
One of the task force officers who intervened in the matter asked the policemen to restrain themselves as Michaela identified herself but the policemen refused while insisting that she should surrender the camera.
When the leader of the task force was contacted to know why the demolition should not be covered by the media, he reacted rudely saying “I didn’t call you people here and please don’t ask me any question concerning that, go to the people that gave me the order,” he shouted.
He neither gave his name nor the name or authorities that gave him the order to demolish the said illegal structures.
This harassment of Michaela is coming barely 24 hours after the House of Representatives asked the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim to apologise to seven journalists of the Nation’s newspaper, who they arrested and molested recently.