On Thursday, 10 officers of the Nigerian Prison Service at Kuje Prison brutally beat a reporter for Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Emmanuel Elebeke, outside the FCT High Court in the Maitama District of Abuja.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, the attack occurred at 2 PM on the premises of Court 2 of the FCT High Court. Mr. Elebeke took several photos of six suspects in the murder case of Anthony Eze.
According to media reports, Mr. Elebeke’s actions provoked a strong reaction from the prison officials present. Several officials descended upon the journalist demanded his camera and questioned his right to take photos despite the fact that the pictures were taken outside the court, and were, therefore, legal.
After Mr. Elebeke refused to surrender his camera, the officials allegedly began to beat him, while demanding he give it up.
According to Vanguard Newspaper, Mr. Elebeke was eventually handcuffed by one prison official while another hit him with the butt of his gun.
The brutal attack did not end until the prison officials were able to wrestle Mr. Elebeke’s camera away from him. The officials then sped off with the camera in a prison bus with the registration number PS635A01.
Mr. Elebeke was left with injuries to his legs and body as a result of this vicious beating.
The prison officials maintained that Mr. Elebeke should not have taken the photos, and refuse to return the camera claiming it is now “evidence”.
When the judge of the murder case, Justice Garba Salisu, learned of the attack he allegedly faulted the behavior of the prison officials.
A Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr. Paul Ella, condemned the attack, and insisted that the prison officers be brought to justice.
In a conversation with Vanguard Newspaper, he stated that “we as a union will investigate the case in full and make sure that the perpetrators are brought to justice. We will do everything within our power to ensure that this attack does not repeat itself.”