12 October 2017
…Journalist escapes state to avoid being killed
By Ugonnabo Ngwu
A deputy editor with Daily Post, an online newspaper, Wale Odunsi, was on Wednesday afternoon nearly killed by a mobile police personnel, Iliya Ali, attached to the Kogi Government House in Lokoja, who was angered that the journalist mentioned his name during a quarrel.
He had travelled to the state to honour an invitation for the rescheduled Kogi State Social Media Summit, slated to hold on Wednesday 11th and Thursday 12th October 2017.
Journalists invited for the summit were also scheduled to meet with Governor Yahaya Bello at the Banquet Hall of the Government House, but Odunsi stated that it was divine intervention that saved him from being killed when he arrived for the programme.
Narrating his ordeal to colleagues, the deputy editor said: “I left the hotel I was some minutes before 11 a.m. Before that, I called special assistant to the Governor on New Media, Joel Odaudu Minister, that I was on my way to the Government House.
“I got there and walked towards the gate. As I approached the gate directly opposite the entrance of the governor’s wife’s office entrance, one of the protocol officials wearing white native charged towards me.
“In an unruly manner, he queried why I was trying to barge into the premises. So I asked ‘Oga, you don’t have to shout at me like that. I was only looking for who to ask for direction’.
“Apparently infuriated by my guts, he dragged and pushed me away. Within seconds, a mobile policeman got up and slapped me. He used abusive words and warned me to move away. But I kept asking what I did to warrant the treatment.
“At this point, the protocol officer and two mobile policemen were taking turns to hit me on the chest while pushing me backwards; one slapped me the second time.
“I calmly walked some meters away and called Joel, the governor’s aide. As soon as he came, the security officials cornered him and were trying to change the story.
“I hurriedly strolled to where they were and insisted to know why I was assaulted. By this time, one of the policemen I believe is superior and another man wearing a blue safari suit and white T-shirt warned me to leave the area or face the consequences.
“The policeman’s eyes were red as if thirsty for blood. He kept screaming that he will punish me mercilessly. So I called his name out, Iliya Ali: I told him to his face that I will report the incident to appropriate authority.
“Once he heard his name, he reached for his holster and attempted to bring out his gun. He said I have eyes to see his name and mouth to mention his name so he will shut me up “now now”, affirming his readiness to open fire.
“He added: ‘I will show you if na your mama, your papa or your any person you wan report me to give me name. I will deal with you anytime, anywhere I see you around this place’.
“He also asked the Governor’s aide to leave the scene so he can deal with me. All the while, he was trying to bring out his gun while the governor’s aide was asking him calm down.
“I sensed he might make real his threat so I took transport and left the scene because only a fool will continue to argue with a man with a firearm. I spoke to the Force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, who sent Kogi CP’s number. I tried to reach him but couldn’t but sent SMS. No response from him as I speak.
“I have left the state before my time is cut short. Kogi Police Command will hear from Daily Post lawyers. Police brutality in Nigeria must be checked,” the journalist vowed.