Police Harass Bounce News Journalist For Taking Pictures In Oshodi
Men of the Nigerian Police Force attached to the Lagos State Task Force on the demolition exercise in Oshodi have molested a journalist from Bounce News.
The Lagos authorities have begun demolishing parts of Oshodi while after giving due notice and Bounce News was simply observing the process.
Lekan Oladeinde, was on Tuesday evening harassed and molested by the officers who seized his mobile phone and ordered him to delete all the pictures he took concerning the demolition.
Understanding the role of the media in developing the society, Oladeinde chose to observe the procedure and note its impact on people resident in the affected community.
The demolition is being done to pave the way for the construction of the 10-lane Oshodi-Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road.
Several buildings including shops, offices and stalls, among others, were being demolished.
Also affected were eight banks. They are Heritage, Fidelity, Union, UBA, Zenith, Access, Diamond and Stanbic IBTC.
“I was gathering the news and trying to take actionable pictures when one of the officers accosted me.
"Who are you? Who gave you permission to take pictures? Give me your phone? He barked.
"While trying to explain to the officer my mission in the area being a journalist, four other officers accosted me from behind saying,
“Who gave you the guts to talk back to an officer? Obey the order and release your phone.”
Oladeinde narrates what he told the officers:
“I asked why the demolition should not be covered by the media but the officers reacted rudely, saying nobody invited me”
“Where is your permit from the governor to take pictures of the demolition? one of the officers asked.
“We have arrested some of your colleagues this morning and they have been taken to Alausa, another officer shouted.
“To avoid further confrontation with them, I handed over the phone to them.
After about 30 minutes delay, the officers handed over the phone back to me and ordered me to delete all the pictures of demolition
Efforts to get the names of the officers were futile as the operatives wore bullet proof vests.
When contacted, the Deputy PRO of the Lagos State Police Command, Iheanachor Omuta apologised for the incident and promised to look into the matter.
All efforts to get the reaction of the Commissioner for Information in the state, Kehinde Bamigbetan proved abortive.
He did not pick his calls and has failed to respond to text messages sent to him on the matter.
Is there something to hide along the path to building our Mega City?