Police assault, detain PUNCHMAN church protest for
ARMED policemen attached to the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, on Sunday, assaulted and detained a reporter with The PUNCH, Solomon Odeniyi.
Also arrested and detained was a reporter with Roots TV, Busayo Tosin.
They were dispossessed of their mobile telephones and other belongings before they were detained at the River Park Police Station for four hours.
The policemen were led by one U.C. Ugochukwu, who ordered the detention of the journalists until all ongoing services at the Dunamis Church International were concluded.
Recounting his experience,
Odeniyi said, “I went to Dunamis as a follow-up to what happened at the church last Sunday.
“Besides, some groups
addressed a press conference and vowed to storm the church if the congregants arrested in the church were not released.
“There was heavy presence of security operatives comprising the DSS and police personnel at the church, which suggested something was about to happen.
“The protest was yet to start when suddenly I saw a patrol van of seven policemen surrounding us (I was with a reporter from Roots TV, Busayo Tosin). Ugochukwu and his men grabbed me by the belt and accused us of being among the protesters. I showed my ID card to him, which he forcefully took, damaging it in the process.
“Before I could say another word, I was slapped by one of them, while another pointed his gun at me. I asked what my offence was. I told them that my ID card was enough evidence that I was not part of the protesters. All that fell on deaf ears.
“We were immediately dispossessed of our phones, bundled into a waiting police patrol van and driven to the River Park Police Station.
“We pleaded with them to allow us communicate with our offices; the pleas were turned down. The sized items were: one power bank, three mobile phones, one camera, one tripod, and one identity card. We got to the station around 8am and were released following the intervention of the police high