Nigerian Army personnel and operatives of the State Security Service on Wednesday attacked a news crew putting up at a hotel in downtown Benin, the Edo State capital, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt. The crew, which comprised reporters, producers and a driver, arrived in Benin on Tuesday evening and subsequently checked in at Douban Hotel along Airport Road, Taiye Garick, the editor of Watchdog Media, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday. “At approximately 1:45 a.m. soldiers and SSS agents stormed the hotel and demanded the whereabouts of our reporters,” Mr. Garrick said quoting witnesses. “They went from room to room dragging them out and brutalising them.” Mr. Garrick said his staff were then dragged into a waiting van and taken to the SSS field office in Benin, where they remained locked as at 7:00 p.m.Wednesday. Mr. Garrick said the soldiers were attached to “Operation Thunderstorm” which is being coordinated by the Army’s 4th Mechanised Brigade in Benin. The affected journalists and their designations as listed by Mr. Garrick in an email to PREMIUM TIMES are as follows: Tony Abulu (Production Manager); Richard Hasley (Reporter); Opara Uche (Reporter); Handy Romeo Eze (Reporter); Kelvin Toryila (Video Editor) and Lanre Ogunleye, an IT associate.
Others include: Balogun Ehigie (IT ); Kenneth Danpome (Head IT), Mathew (Logistics Manager) and Joe Epi (Driver). “The journalists were taken away, wearing only boxers after they were brutalised and their properties including identity cards, laptops and mobile phones were seized from them,” Mr. Garrick said.
via premiumtimesng: Nigerian soldiers, SSS brutalise journalists