Police Brutalise And Tear Gas Journalist

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Mr. Samuel Ayara, a journalist working for the Akwa Ibom State Broadcasting Corporation attached to the State House of assembly, was allegedly assaulted by policemen in the complex on Wednesday.

The policeman who allegedly started the assault, Sunday Agada, is attached to a lawmaker representing Ikot Abasi State Constituency, Mr. Uduak Udoudo.

Ayara was attacked with tear gas whilst this was happening other policemen surrounded him and started hitting him with the butts of their guns.

The attack threw the complex into chaos, as people scampered around to avoid being affected by the tear gas.

Ayara said “I was going round the offices of some of lawmakers at about 12.30pm to interact with their wives who came to celebrate Valentine with their husbands. When I was in front of the office of the member representing Ikot Abasi State constituency, Mr. Uduak Udoudo, one of his security details shouted at me saying, ‘Who are you and where do you think you are going to?’

“I asked him why he yelled at me and if that was how he addressed people. Almost immediately, policemen numbering about 10 gathered around me and started beating me. Some hit me with the butts of their guns and another released a tear gas canister on my face.

“Afterwards, none of the policemen apologised to me. I am an asthmatic patient and the tear gas is dangerous to my health.” .

Mr. Ime Okon the Chairman, House Committee on Information, when contacted, said he was not aware
“The issue has not been brought to my notice. I am not aware.”

Mr. Patrick Albert, the state Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, condemned the incident and said he would investigate and meet with the Speaker on the issue.

“The assault on Ayara is condemnable. We cannot continue to condone a situation where our members are constantly molested while carrying out their duties.”

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