While performing his official duties, Mustapha Usman, a journalist, was assaulted by some Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) officers Monday near the Corps’ Zone 7 FCT Command office in Abuja.
As the reporter attempted to cover an incident near Wuye Junction on the Nnamdi Azikiwe Expressway, FRSC personnel beat him and took his identification card.
His employers, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), reported that the FRSC officials had accused a woman of breaking the law close to the expressway’s being built Wuye Bridge. When Mustapha observed the officers snatching Esther Oluwatimileyin’s steering wheel with force, he attempted to record the incident on video.
“I got closer and noticed that officers were already forcibly taking control of the steering wheel from her. Other officers were surrounding her car, and they later deflated her car tyres.
“I tried to record the event on video. When the situation became intense, one of the officers came to disperse the crowd. They also attempted to pull me away, but I made them understand I was a journalist. I showed them my ID card, but they didn’t pay attention.
“They started slapping me. About five of them surrounded and attacked me. I can’t even recall exactly how many of them beat me because it was close to their office, and there were many. I was retrieving my ID card from the floor when one hit me and took it away,” the journalist narrated.
He named two of the police officers present as “Saliu” and ” Yahaya M. According to name tags on their uniforms.
The FCT Sector Commander, Muta Chorrie, responded to the incident by accusing the journalist of disrespectfully and maliciously recording the officers “while they were doing their job.
Esther was also charged with breaking the law by using her phone while driving to access Google Maps, according to him.
He claimed that she had insulted his officers and forced them to deflate her car’s tires.
Mustapha merely stated, when asked about his treatment by the FRSC staff, “Sadly, journalists experience that often in Nigeria. “