A journalist, David Eleke, attached to the Leadership Newspapers was attacked and brutally beaten by Soldiers in Awka, the capital of Anambra State on the evening [5:15pm] of September 6, 2012. The soldiers brutalized the journalist for taking pictures of an ongoing demolition of buildings along Arthur Eze Avenue.
According to the information received by 247ureports.com the attack occurred at the junction of Arthur Eze Avenue and Emma Nnaemeka road – as the journalist returned from the cyber café where he had filed his story for the day.
As he made his way on foot along Arthur Eze Avenue, he came across what appears a government agency supervising a demolition exercise – along with some soldiers who were also attached to the demolition team.
David Eleke stopped and decided to record the demolition exercise in pictures. He started to take snap shots of the demolition. Then, suddenly, a gentlemen dressed in civilian clothing approached him forcefully inquiring why he was taking photographs of the demolition. Before he [David] could respond, the Soldiers pounced on him – slapping him, kicking him and tiring his cloths to shreds. His camera was taken away and he was thrown into a pickup truck and driven to the Awka South Local Government Area [LGA] Headquarters.
At the LGA office, David was handed over to the Chairman of the LGA [Ekene]. His camera was also handed over to the Chairman. The soldiers then instructed the chairman to hand David over to the police for onward investigation – because, according to the soldiers, David Eleke was taking photographs of the soldiers in a suspicious manner – that he was hiding and taking snap shots of them.
It took the quick intervention of members of the Anambra Chapter of the Nigerian Union of Journalist [NUJ] who were seated at a meeting when they were alerted of the beating and potential arrest of one of their members. A large delegation of NUJ members flooded the LGA headquarter in search for their member. They were quick to identify David as their member who was doing his journalistic work when he was attacked by the soldiers.
The NUJ members were able to free David and recover his camera.
It was good to free Mr Eleeke. But it is not enough.What happened to the photographs? Have they been published? Where they destroyed? Either way Eleke should be in coourt by now,otherwise these civilised conducts perpetrated by an governments at two levels in Anambra State will continue. We ar sick and tired of hearing such stories without commensurate action.