11 December 2012

Nigeria: Journalist Assaulted By State Security Personnel in Nigeria

press release

On 9 December 2012, the Akwa Ibom State correspondent for The Nation newspaper, Kazeem Ibrahym, was assaulted and beaten unconscious by three State Security Service (SSS) operatives after he responded to an invitation to cover the 50th birthday celebrations of the state governor, Godswill Akpabio. The SSS is Nigeria's domestic intelligence agency.

Ibrahym and other journalists were invited to the Akwa Ibom State Government House in Uyo to cover the celebration. On arrival, however, security operatives initially denied the journalists entry into the hall where the birthday celebration was taking place. Governor Akpabio's chief press secretary, Anietie Ukpe, subsequently intervened and the journalists were to be allowed entrance to the hall. Two journalists then entered and Ibrahym was about to follow when he was stopped by an SSS operative, who pushed him back.

Ibrahym asked why he was being barred from an event to which he had been invited, after he had shown his invitation. His audacity in asking infuriated the SSS operatives who immediately swooped down on him and beat him up.

Ibrahym said the officers held his neck and pushed him to the ground, while beating him, resulting in multiple bruises. The governor's press secretary attempted to intervene, but the officers threatened to deal with him as well.

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