A journalist working with DAILY POST newspaper identified as Mr Sikiru Obarayese has been allegedly brutalised by officials of COVID-19 Taskforce organised by the Osun State Government to enforce the usage of face-mask by the people of the state for taking pictures.
This is coming days after WITHIN NIGERIA reported that Journalist and Publisher of Insight News, Jare Tiamiyu has narrated and revealed how he was assaulted with guns and charms by some police officers while on duty in Osogbo, the capital of Osun state.
WITHIN NIGERIA learnt that the journalist, Obarayese was allegedly beaten at the popular Old Garage area of Osogbo, capital of the state alongside a middle-aged woman and other members of the public.
Speaking on the incident, the journalist identified as Obarayese who sustained multiple injuries disclosed that the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo Adeleke allegedly ordered the officials to beat him when he was taking reports of the harassment of some members of the public by the security agents.
In an account of the reporter which was obtained by WITHIN NIGERIA staff, Obarayese revealed that several residents of the state were harassed by the security officers who were hitherto mandated to mete out fines to erring members of the public.
“I was taking pictures with my phone when they were harassing those who didn’t use a face mask. A woman was reporting that they had beat her and I was recording the woman.”
“The Joint Task Force led by Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo Adeleke approached me, asked why I was taking pictures. I told them this a public place and also informed them that I am a journalist.
“In the cause of bringing out my ID from my pocket, a policeman attached to the JTF said “you are mad, where is your ID card” and wanted to snatch my phone.”
“Four policemen attacked me and started slapping and hit me with a baton in my joints hands and leg. I fell and they were matching me. To my surprise, I heard the Commissioner for Local Government and chieftaincy ordering them to beat me and take me along with those they had arrested.”
“I was later released when some journalists at the venue approached them.”
WITHIN NIGERIA further learnt that the journalist, Obarayese has been treated at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.
Efforts to reach the Osun Commissioner proved abortive as calls and text message to his phone number were neither answered, acknowledged nor replied.