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Nigerian journalist attacked for photographing funeral

(MRA/IFEX) - 26 October 2012 - Security men associated with Mrs. Clara Chime, the wife of the governor of Enugu State, in southeast Nigeria, assaulted a photojournalist with the News Agency of Nigeria. Mr. Mike Agada was taking photographs at the funeral ceremony of a governor advisor's in-law, when police officers seized his camera.

Despite an intervention by the organisers of the funeral ceremony, the policemen smashed Agada's Nikon D300 professional camera and SB-800 flashgun, reportedly worth about NGN 700,000 (about US $4,430).

The policemen punched and kicked Agada several times, while one of the police officers, Corporal Joshua Ethoti, cocked his gun and threatened to shoot the journalist.

The funeral ceremony was attended by Mrs. Chime and senior government officials.

The policemen are reported to have beaten up Agada because they suspected that he took their pictures while they were drinking on duty. Funeral ceremonies in parts of Nigeria are an occasion for free drinks - alcoholic and non-alcoholic - for guests.

The Public Relations Officer of Enugu State Police Command, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed that the matter had been reported to his office and that he had advised the journalist to write a petition to the Enugu State Police Command and send a copy to the Chief Security Officer as well as the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Mr. Amaraizu promised that necessary action would be taken as soon as the Police Command received the petition.

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