Vanguard (Lagos)

16 February 2011

Nigeria: Police Officer Brutalises NAN Photo-Journalist, Seizes Camera

Abuja — A senior police officer on Saturday in Abuja, assaulted a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) photo journalist, Mr Fola Hastrup, damaging his camera during the ANPP national convention at the Eagle Square.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), pounced on Hastrup, who was on an official assignment to cover the ANPP convention, turning him to a punching bag after seizing the camera.

Witnesses said the photo journalist was taking shots of some people suspected to be miscreants, who had forced their way into the venue of the convention, when the officer, wearing a name tag Toyin Suleiman, attacked him from behind. The officer, however, had no police identification number. The witnesses said the DSP was quickly joined by his colleagues, who on instruction, snatched Hastrup's camera and battered him severally.

The police officer refused to heed the plea of an editor, Mr Kevin Okunzuwa, who led the NAN team to the coverage of the ANPP convention, to release the camera. It, however, took the intervention of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, in-charge of Operations, Mr Wilson Enalegwu, for the police men to release the camera.

He condemned the act, apologised to the journalist and volunteered to undertake the medical treatment of the journalist. He was later treated and discharged from the Federal Staff Hospital, Garki 11, Abuja.

NAN

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