The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Anambra State on Monday said it will probe the reported case of alleged unprofessional conduct of some civil defence personnel against one Izunna Okafor, an Anambra-based Journalist.
It was gathered that about 10 officers of command on Saturday, brutalized the journalist, accusing the media of being the problem of Nigeria.
Mr Okafor who is a reporter with 247ureports, was coming from Nnewi, where he was invited to cover the Anambra South Rally of the Soludo Ambassadors, when over 10 staff of NSCDC descended on him.
The journalist was said to be in the same bus provided by the organizers of the rally to convey him and the staff of the Civil Defence officials from Awka to the venue of the Rally and also bring back to Awka.
Recounting his ordeal in the hands of the security operatives, the journalist said the trouble started when he wanted to alight at the UNIZIK Junction, Awka, from the bus that was conveying them.
According to him, after he severally informed and reminded the driver that he would alight at the UNIZIK Junction, he ignored the instruction of the Civil Defence officers, who insisted that everybody must remain on the bus and follow them to the very last bus stop where they would alight.
He said when he eventually alighted, he could not see his second phone which fell out inside the bus when the driver was on a high-speed. However, according to him, as he was informing them that his phone fell off inside the bus and that he would want to pick it up, the aggressive civil defence officers ordered the driver to zoom off moving without listening to him.
He said as he was stretching his hand to request the phone from the person who volunteered to pick it up for him, one of the Civil Defence officials attached to the Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) callously ordered the driver to speed off, and then furiously jammed the door of the bus, leaving him with severe hand injuries caused by the forceful and unexpected locking of the bus door.
Okafor, who was in severe pain said he had no other option but to board another commercial transport to the place where the Civil Defence officers said would be the last bus stop.
According to him, when he got there, as he sought an explanation from the particular officer for his action, the situation escalated further and aggravated to chaos as the officer began questioning him on what gave him the boldness to ask him such a question as a uniformed and armed man.
He said while the Civil Defence officer began to raise his voice at him, he readied his gun, while his colleagues, numbering about 11, rushed out and descended on him, physically assaulting him, kicking and hitting him with gunheads.
Okafor said some of the Civil Defence officers even threatened to shoot him while beating him up but for the pleas of some other people who were there witnessing what was happening.
According to him, officers also accused Nigeria journalists of being the major part of Nigeria’s problem, while they stand and suffer under the sun to protect the country and her citizens.
Meanwhile, the State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Mr Edwin Osuala has ordered thorough investigations into the case.
The Commandant in a statement by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Edwin Okadigbo, has ordered the Deputy Commandant in charge of the Investigation and Intelligence Department to immediately commence a full-scale investigation into the matter to bring anyone found wanting.
Osuala noted that the NSCDC, as a reputable paramilitary agency in a good working relationship with the Nigeria Union of Journalists, would stop at nothing to make sure appropriate disciplinary sanctions are meted against any of the personnel found wanting.
“I would not want this isolated case to severe the good relationship I have with the NUJ.
“I always urge personnel to be cautious and polite in dealing with members of the public in the discharge of their duties. If after investigation, they are guilty of the offence, definitely they will face the music as a deterrent to other personnel.
“The command under my watch will not tolerate or condone any act unbecoming of an officer,” he said.
While affirming his unwavering stance against unethical conduct on the part of Officers and Men, the State Commandant further solicited sustained media partnership, cooperation and support of the public in providing timely and relevant information to the Corps in its renewed efforts against security challenges in the state.