NUJ sues customs for assault on journalist

The Lagos State council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it has filed a suit seeking N500million damages against the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for the assault on a journalist, Yomi Olomofe.

NUJ lawyer who also represented the journalist, Jiti Ogunye, stated this on Monday at the Alausa secretariat of the union, adding that the suit was filed before a Federal High Court in Lagos.

Olomofe, a Badagry-based journalist, was battered by suspected smugglers on the premises of the Nigeria Customs Service office in Seme, Badagry, Lagos State.

He was attacked at about 4pm on Thursday, June 25, 2015.

He had been invited to the NCS premises for an assignment. He explained that the suspected smugglers beat him up on the claim that he wrote against their activities in the Seme area.

Olomofe, who is the director of Badagry-based Prime Magazine, said the men of the NCS, Seme Area Command, looked away as the attackers battered him.

Ogunye said on Monday that the assault on Olomolafe on the premises of the NCS was a violation of his fundamental human rights.

He said, “One of our demands is for the court to make a pronouncement against the treatment meted out to the journalist who was abandoned at a dump after the beating on the NCS premises.

“Medical reports indicate that the journalist suffered severe injury and psychological trauma after the incident.”

The human rights lawyer said it was unfortunate that journalists that played prominent roles in the return of democracy to the country had continued to be battered by security agents and other government agencies.

The National President of the NUJ, Waheed Odusile, said the union would not allow the matter to be swept under the carpet.

He said, “The letters written to the police and the Nigeria Customs Service for a thorough investigation into the matter many months back have not been treated. We will not allow journalists to be intimidated in the course of their duty as long as they act within the ethics of the profession.”

The state Chairman of the NUJ, Deji Elumoye, urged media practitioners to support the course of getting justice for Olomofe, saying injury to one is injury to all.

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