By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
The Osun State Correspondent of Daily Post, Sikiru Obarayese has narrated how he was brutalized by men of the Nigeria Police while covering the #EndSars memorial protest in Osogbo on Wednesday.
Recounting his ordeal, Obarayese, who showed the injuries he sustained on his leg, eye and hand, lamented that he was thoroughly beaten by twelve armed policemen both at the scene of the protest and at the Dugbe police station.
“I was covering the #EndSars remembrance protest before some policemen approached me and asked me to identify myself. I told them I am a journalist and displayed my identity card, they started slapping and kicking me,” he said.
There was been tension and heavy security presence at strategic locations in the state capital as some aggrieved youths embarked on protest in commemoration of one year anniversary of the #EndSARS incident.
The youths, who carried banner and placards, chanted anti-government songs as they marched from Ita-Olokan area through Oja-Oba, Station Road, Post Office, Old-Garage and Oke-Fia areas of Osogbo.
When the protesters gathered at Oke-Fia, a team of policemen stormed the environment and dispersed them.
When the protesters got to Old Garage, another team of policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer, Dugbe Division, Osogbo, Oyegbade Akinloye, pounced on Obarayese, and assaulted him.
Few minutes after Obarayese was arrested and allegedly beaten, the DPO ordered some operatives to charge him to court.
The journalist was arraigned before an Osogbo Magistrate’s Court for allegedly videoing the DPO and assaulting him during the #EndSARS remembrance protest in Osogbo.
The charge sheet obtained by our correspondent reads: “That you Sikiru Obarayese, on the 20th October, 2021 at about 1:00pm at Old Garage Area, Osogbo, did conduct yourself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace by videoing the Divisional Police Officer, Dugbe Division, Osogbo.
“That you (Obarayese), at the same time, place and date, did assault one CSP Oyegbade Akinloye, the DPO of Dugbe Division, while discharging his official duty at Freedom Park, Osogbo.”
The police argued that the journalist committed offences contrary to and punishable under Sections 249(D) and 356 of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol II Laws of Osun State, 2002.
The journalist pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge slammed against him. He had no legal representation.
Police prosecutor, Inspector Kayode Adeoye, informed the court that the state Commissioner of Police, Wale Olokode had directed him to withdraw the matter because Obarayese is a journalist and that he was carrying out his duty.
Magistrate O. A. Daramola, who queried the prosecutor on what prevents the journalist from videoing the DPO if he was not doing anything negative, ordered that the matter be struck out and discharged Obarayese.