CPJ Calls on Nigerian Gov’t to Investigate Attacks on Journalist

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The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) has called on Nigerian authorities to investigate the recent attack and brief abduction of some journalists who were covering a council election in Enugu State on February 23, 2022, and ensure that all journalists are safe while carrying out their legitimate assignments.

Mr Fredrick Nnaji and Chigozie Nwafor who are staff of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) were attacked by some unidentified gun men on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 while on their way to cover the Enugu State Local Government Elections. The Punch Newspaper had earlier reported that the news crew comprising a driver, cameraman and three reporters were attacked at Obeagu Awkunanaw in Enugu South LGA along Agbani road. However, two reporters, Chiamaka Ezeaputa, Chigozie Alex-Nwafor and their driver, Ebuka Ogbozor were said to have escaped while Fred Nnaji and Monday Ogbodo were abducted.

Mr Nnaji, who is also the ESBS representative within the Nigeria Union of Journalists, informed the CPJ that the men beat him with their guns and struck him and Nwafor with the blunt side of their machetes, injuring Nwafor’s left wrist. Nnaji said the men ordered he and Nwafor into their vehicle where they were briefly held captive.

In its statement the CPJ’s African Program Coordinator, Angela Quintal, CPJ’s said “Authorities in Nigeria must swiftly identify and prosecute all those responsible for the attacks on journalists Fredrick Nnaji and Chigozie Nwafor,” Angela wrote: “This reprehensible attack speaks volumes about the grave danger that awaits journalists during Nigeria’s forthcoming general elections-a danger that Nigerian authorities have a duty to prevent.”