Past Edo NUJ Chairmen Condemn Assault on Journalists. . . Call for Probe


The Conference of Past Chairmen, Edo State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists, has condemned in its entirety the recent invasion of the Oba Oguola Press Center, Benin City, by one Douglas Ogbankwa, accompanied by some unidentified policemen to assault and arrest a journalist as well as threaten to “bring down” the State NUJ Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe.

The conference in a statement issued and jointly signed by its Chairman, Comrade Godwin Ehrahon and Secretary, Otunba Mike Aladenika said the action is not acceptable to practicing journalists in Nigeria, most especially in Edo state.

A former Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association, Edo state chapter, Douglas Ogbankwa accompanied by Police men recently visited the Edo state secretariat of the Nigerian Union of journalist Nuj in Benin to effect arrest of an online journalist for reporting his trial in court over theft allegation.

He in the process molested some other journalists which includes the chairman of the union,festus Alenkhe.

A section of the press release read thus:

“Information at our disposal is sacrosanct and a fact, that the said Douglas Ogbankwa was actually docked and currently undergoing trials in a court of competent jurisdiction for crime allegedly committed. It is our conviction that if Mr Ogbankwa is actually a qualified Lawyer as he claims, he ought to know that press reports of Court proceedings are privileged. If he feels the reports were inaccurate, he should have drawn the attention of the presiding Judge to any misrepresentation. That he is ignorant of this universal rules guiding judicial reporting casts doubt in his qualification as a Lawyer. We therefore challenge the Nigeria Bar Association to first probe his qualification before interceding for him in the charges of thurgery and brigandage that he is facing.

“We condemn, in totality, the action and assault committed by Douglas Ogbankwa and his team of “policemen”.

We hereby demand that the Commissioner of police passionately probe this action as well as identify the said “policemen” who were part of the action.

The Past NUJ leaders also called on the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Edo State to “as a matter of urgency, probe the actions of Mr Ogbankwa and invoke the necessary sanctions as required by the rules of the NBA as we will not allow these acts to go unpunished.

The statement further said, ” this is to assure the leadership and members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Edo State Council that we are resolutely standing by you on this matter, which must be handled with all the precisions and commitments it deserves.

“We are hereby calling on all journalists in Edo State to focus on the case and all activities of the shyster for the benefit of the public and to help the NBA to purge and purify its fold.

We are ready to bring this matter to the attention of the presiding Judge if this lawless Lawyer fails to atone for his sins before the adjourned date, the veteran journalists said.

Comrade Godwin Erhahon

Otunba Mike Aladenika

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