Appeal has gone to the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to assist in protecting lives of journalists in Ogun and Lagos states, especially that of their family members.
The appeal was made yesterday by the Executive Director and Chairman, Editorial Board of Badagry Prime, a news magazine, Otunba Yomi Olomofe while narrating his ordeal in the hands of smugglers around the Seme border area of Badagry last Thursday.
The Editorial Board Chairman who was beaten to a pulp with his eyes swollen said he lost some paraphernalia including three smartphones which he valued at about N500,000, a gold wrist watch and some amount of money.
Olomofe, who is the immediate past president of the Rotary Club of Ajara, while speaking with newsmen from his hospital bed on Sunday explained that the unfortunate incident is still like a surprise to him.
Narrating how he narrowly escaped being killed by smugglers, he called for more police protection. “The incident happened last Thursday, the 25th of June, in the presence of Customs Officers within the premises of the Seme Command.
“I was in company of another journalist colleague, the Correspondent of Tide Newspaper, during a visit to the Command, when some smugglers, who claimed journalists have been writing negative stories about them, pounced on me, having known me very well and beat me to stupor.
“I suspect a set-up because I was at the Seme Command on the invitation of the authority of the Service, so, I wonder how anybody could have been waiting for me there. How do they know that I will be there?,” he quizzed.
He added that: “they beat me seriously and inflicted injuries on my face and body while threatening to kill any journalist that write any story about them.
“A lot of my belongings were missing, my three phones, my gold wrist watch was taken away and all the money with me on that day was taken away. I cannot recollect how much it was but I had enough cash on me that fateful day.
“Glory to God and thanks to a friend from Rotary Club, who came to take me away from the scene, I would have been dead by now because I was left there almost lifeless and wriggling in pains with no one to come for my aid.
“This incident happened within the Customs premises and I don’t know what they will do again. My life is not safe and that is why I am appealing to the police to come to my rescue.
“These hoodlums are well known around that area and they are above the law. They even told me that they have killed many people and nothing happened,” the soft spoken Editorial Chairman narrated.
“I am fully resident in Badagry, my familly lives with me. I have my parents, wife and children in Badagry, who knows what will happen next,” he queried.
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