Osun State reporter, alleged manhandled by State Police men

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, of Osun State, Prince Adebayo Adeleke has taken full responsibility of the alleged manhandling of DAILY POST’s reporter in the State, Mr Sakiru Obarayese, by security operatives working with him.

Recall that some policemen attached to the Osun State Joint Task Force to enforce the compulsory use of face mask in the state, Monday brutalized Sikiru Obarayese, while covering the process.

Obarayese was beaten at the popular Old Garage area of Osogbo, the state capital, alongside an aged woman and other members of the public.

According to Obarayese who sustained open injuries on his left elbow and right ankle, the operatives beat the journalist on his duty in the presence of the Adebayo Adeleke.

Obarayese was treated at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.

It was gathered that a policeman attached to the JTF approached the reporter, and asked him to stop taking pictures when the task force was harassing some of the members of the public and beating people with baton.

Several other residents of the state were also harassed by the security officers who were hitherto mandated to enforce compliance.

Obarayese in his account said, “I was taking pictures with my phone when the operatives were harassing those who didn’t use a face mask. A woman was reporting that they had beaten her, and I was recording the woman.

“The Joint Task Force led by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo Adeleke approached me, asked why I was taking pictures. I told them it was a public place and I also informed them that I was 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 hitting me with a baton in my joint,s hands and legs with the aim of destroying the phone. 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.”

The Commissioner has, however, said he could not have ordered the brutality of any citizen, let alone a journalist.

In a statement personally issued by him, Adeleke, who admitted being in charge of the team said he was nowhere near the scene of the alleged brutality.

“However, I am conscious of the fact that some Nigerians could be overzealous when carrying out such enforcement directives.

Every administration has a character, which draws from the character of the head of such government.

As a cabinet member serving in a government of a governor with a reputation for zero tolerance for violence, intimidation and excessive use of government authority, I did not and will never supervise any act of brutality against any citizen, let alone a journalist.

Also speaking, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan, regretted the development, saying that it’s not in the character of the current government to brutalize or victimize people. 

While appealing for calm, he said he has reached out to the reporter on behalf of the governor and will take care of the medical expenses of the reporter. ”

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