The Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) has urged the Nigerian authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on journalist Frederick Olatunde Odimayo after reporting on drug trafficking in Lokoja, Kogi state.
In a statement on Wednesday, the CPJ urged authorities to hold those responsible to account.
On April 16, Odimayo, a freelance reporter and editor, passed out after being attacked by five men after reporting on the drug trafficking.
The private news website Wadata Media published a report by Odimayo on the drug trade in Lokoja on March 31. According to the CPJ, he was undercover as a drug buyer to expose a local human trafficking group.
“The authorities in Nigeria need to identify those who attacked journalist Frederick Olatunde Odimayo and ensure they are held accountable – including those who planned the attack,” said Angela Quintal, the CPJ’s Africa program coordinator.
“The safety of journalists should be a top priority for Nigerian law enforcement agencies, and that includes reducing impunity for violence against reporters.”
The police had confirmed the attack on Odimayo, but did not identify the perpetrators.
On April 19, William Aya, spokesman for Kogi State Police, told CPJ that police had taken suspects into custody for questioning, but that they were not the alleged attackers themselves.
It declined to comment further, saying additional details about the investigation would eventually be released, the CPJ added.
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