Nigeria train passengers attack journalists, seize equipment

On August 13, 2012, unidentified passengers illegally sitting on and hanging from rail cars of a moving train in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, assaulted two photojournalists for taking pictures of them from a pedestrian bridge, according to news reports

Idowu Ogunleye, photo editor of TheNews/P.M. NEWS, lost the memory card of his camera, his employers said. Tunde Ogundeji, a freelance photojournalist and former editor of Nigerian Compass, told CPJ he sustained head wounds after about six assailants pinned him down, then kicked and hit him when they didn’t find his camera, which he had managed to hand off to someone else.

Police officers on traffic duty at the time of the assault refused to help the journalists, according to news reports. Ogundeji told CPJ he reported the case at the railway police station, but police and railway officers told him the pictures would have embarrassed the railway service and police for condoning the illegal passengers.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists condemned the attack.