NSCDC makes U-turn, admits detaining Kwara journalist

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps has admitted to detaining a Kwara journalist and lawyer on Friday.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the NSCDC spokesman in the state, Ayeni Olasunkanmi, who spoke with our correspondent on Saturday, said the agency neither detained nor assaulted any lawyer or journalist, saying, “that was a lie from the pit of hell,” adding, “nobody beat her, she was not beaten. Let her come out with any evidence of beating.”

The Chairman of the Association of Kwara Online Media Practitioners, Salihu Taofeek, who doubles as the Publisher of Informant247 online news platform was on Friday afternoon allegedly beaten and locked up in a cell by the NSCDC officials for hours.

Taofeek was reportedly detained alongside the Editor of the news platform, Salihu Ayatullah, and Eyitanwa Lawal, a lawyer turned journalist with SOBI 101.9FM, Ilorin.

Lawal had also taken to her Facebook page where she narrated how she was allegedly beaten by officials of the law enforcement agency while she and her colleagues went to the command’s office to enquire about her detained cousin.

In its latest release however, titled ‘RE-HOW I WAS BEING ASSAULTED BY THE NSCDC KWARA COMMAND OFFICERS’, the civil defence narrated, “Distinguished members of the press and the esteemed general public, let me appreciate you all for your concern over the subject matter.

“This rejoinder wouldn’t have been necessary, but for your concern and that of the general public who holds the Corps in high esteem and have shown enormous support and cooperation to the organisation over the years.

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“I have no doubt that some of you must have watched a video posted by one Eyitanwa Lawal on her Facebook page. Any right-thinking Nigerian that watched the video would have ignorantly conceived a very bad impression of the organisation. Hence, the need to put the record straight.

“On Jan 26, 2023, a case of assault and intimidation was reported at the station office of the command by one Yusuf Yahaya against Damilola Bolanta. The case was handled professionally by the peace and conflict resolution unit of the command. After resolving the issue between the complainant and the suspect, they were referred back to the station office to sign the all necessary documents.

“While they were still waiting at the station office, a lady by the name Eyitanwa Lawal came into the station office to display an unruly behaviour not expected of any reasonable, rational and law-abiding citizen. She became a meddlesome interloper by interfering in the official duty of our staff members uninvited,” the NSCDC spokesman Olasunkanmi said.

The NSCDC said when Lawal was cautioned not to interfere in an official matter, she (Lawal) started hurling insults at one of the officers.

According to him, rather than placing herself on the Olympic height of decorum where trained noble men belong, Lawal chose to employ the language of a gutter snipe right on the premises of the Command and had to be detained when she was asked to leave the premises of the command where she was heavily constituting nuisance and obstructing officers from carrying out their lawful duties to which she refused and was detained.

“Upon the intervention of some lawyers having spent about an hour in detention, she and her co-traveller were asked to write an apology letter, which was voluntarily written by her colleague, Taofeek,” the spokesman said, adding that Taofeek “acknowledged the unruly behaviour of the said Khadijat (Lawal).”

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