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Journalist Brutalized by Nigerian Police for Documenting Cattle Herding Incident



A with the Daily Times newspaper, Mr. Idibia Gabriel, in Kaduna State, was subjected to brutality by Nigerian police personnel while documenting an incident involving the herding of a large number of cattle by policemen in the state.

Gabriel sustained an eye injury as a result of his arrest, torture, and inhuman treatment by the security operatives.

He recounted being arrested and taken to the CID police station at Gabasawa solely for capturing a snapshot of the police shepherding cattle around Valid Oil filling station along the Kachia expressway at U/Boro, Kaduna, around 8:30 am on June 11, 2024.

Despite his attempts to clarify the situation with the state police command spokesman, Gabriel faced aggression from the police.

He explained that he met two police officers before taking the snapshot, intending to use the photo as evidence to inquire about the reasons behind the cattle’s arrest, a practice he noted was common.

However, his efforts were thwarted as the police deleted the snapshot from his handset and confiscated his personal details before releasing him on self-recognizance.

Gabriel expressed fear of potential retaliation, having just arrived at his residence on foot late in the evening, approximately 6 kilometers from where he was initially detained.

Detailing his ordeal, Gabriel mentioned being taken to the CID office at Ibrahim Taiwo Road in Kaduna town after his arrest, where he was physically assaulted by a police officer.

“I was released with one of my eyes almost blinded as a result of the torture, unholy and merciless treatment meted out to me while in the police custody at Criminal Investigative Department (CID), Kaduna branch office.”

Despite identifying himself as a journalist, his pleas for access to his phone and medical attention were ignored, and he was coerced into writing a statement under duress.

He said, “I pleaded that I should be allowed access to my phone to call someone before doing so but was denied access to the phone by a female police officer in mufti, insisting that until I finish writing my statement.”

After his release, Gabriel sought assistance from the Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mansir Hassan.

However, Hassan claimed ignorance of Gabriel’s arrest and promised to investigate the matter, though no progress had been made at the time of reporting.

The incident highlights the challenges journalists face in performing their duties, especially when documenting events involving law enforcement agencies.

Gabriel’s experience shows the need for greater respect for press freedom and accountability within the Nigerian security forces.

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