The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bauchi State Council has urged the state government to set up a panel of inquiry to investigate cases of alleged police violence aganist journalists in the state.
The call was contained in a statement jointly signed by Mr Umar Sa’idu and Isah Gadau, Chairman and Secretary of the council, on Friday in Bauchi.
The Council said it was imperative for the state government to establish a standing Panel of Inquiry, to investigate alleged violence by the police against its members.
The NUJ said that it had recorded five cases of alleged police brutality against journalists working in the state in the past one year.
“The union condemned in strong terms, the negative action of the Rapid Response Squad of the State Police Command that molested and injured one of its members, Damina Yusuf of the AIT, on Thursday July 29, 2021.
“Yusuf was covering students’ protest of the Bauchi State College of Agriculture, Yelwa. He was later admitted at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi.
“Based on this; the union has directed its members to suspend, with immediate effect, coverage of all activities of the police in the state.
“Until the perpetrators of the act are fish out and prosecuted in addition to the proper payment of compensation and settlement of medical bills to the victim,” it said.
The Union also called for the immediate release of items seized by the police from the victim including a camera, laptop computer, microphone with AIT logo, mobile phones, modem and his wallet.
Meanwhile, Mr Abiodun Alabi, the Commissioner of Police, has warned members of the public against unlawful gathering and violent demonstration in the state.
Alabi gave the warning in a statement by the Spokesman of the Command, SP Ahmed Wakil, on Friday in Bauchi.
The Commissioner said the Command would not condone violent demonstration or unlawful gathering.
“The Command condemned the violence that trailed protest by students of the College of Agriculture in Bauchi metropolis.
“Recall that on 29/07/2021 at about 1230hrs, students of the College of Agriculture, Bauchi, trooped out of their school premises and barricaded Bauchi-Dass highway.
“In protest over a land dispute that was formerly used by the institution as its plot for practicals as a result of a court judgement dated March 26, 2021, which ruled in favour of the plaintiff, Yusuf Ibrahim.
“The protest by the students which was aimed at disrupting the plaintiff from partitioning the land after obtaining restraining order degenerated to a violent demonstration.
“The protest by the students involved burning of tyres, smashing peoples’ vehicles, damaging property, snatching of mobile phones and looting among others,” the statement reads in parts. (NAN)