NIGERIA: Cameraman beaten unconscious by police

MAY 1, 2007
Posted May 7, 2007

Dare Folorunso, Ondo State Radiovision Corporation


Folorunso, a camera operator for the Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC), was assaulted by a dozen police officers after a police inspector accused him of filming an offensive shot of her during a May Day celebration in a sports stadium in Akure, the capital of southern Ondo State, according to media reports and local journalists. The assault was linked to Folorunso’s refusal to surrender his camera.

The journalist was handcuffed and dragged away before Joshua Mumbo, an assistant commissioner of Nigeria’s police, seized a police baton and repeatedly clubbed Folorunso on the head until he lost consciousness, according to the same sources. Mumbo left the scene shortly afterward.

Police took an unconscious and handcuffed Folorunso to the hospital and presented him as a criminal, Dele Atunbi, chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Ondo State, told CPJ. He did not receive treatment until three hours has passed and only then due to the intervention of local authorities and journalists, Atunbi said.

Police accused Folorunso of disrupting the peace at the celebration by filming the inspector in a food vending area, OSRC editor Nike Busari told CPJ. Busari denied the allegation, saying the inspector walked into Folorunso’s shot of food vendors at the stadium.

Folorunso was discharged from the hospital the next day with several head stitches, according to Atunbi. He was not ultimately charged. NUJ subsequently wrote a protest letter to Nigeria’s inspector general of police, Atunbi said.