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Lagos policemen torture PUNCH journalists for covering #EndSARS protests


No fewer than 20 policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in the Alausa area of the state brutalised two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, while covering the #EndSARS activities in the area on Wednesday.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday declared a 24-hour curfew to stem the tide of the growing violence in the state but allowed those on essential services such as health workers, security operatives, and pressmen to carry out their legitimate duties.

Dawodu and Odunayo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.

The PUNCH gathered that the duo was recording a live video of the activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.

After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.

Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the Expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards but they refused to let us go.

“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement but we refused.

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