Nigeria: Police Command apologises to brutalized journalist

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The Kaduna State Police Command on Thursday apologised to Ibraheema Yakubu, a journalist brutalised by police officers during a clash between Shiites and members of a Kaduna community.

Mr. Yakubu, who was arrested while covering a peaceful procession by the Shiites in Kaduna on Friday, said he was beaten and slapped by the police officers, before being detained.

The journalist, who reports for the Hausa service of the German Deutsche Welle, DW radio, was arrested as he covered a scene in which locals attacked the Shiites and tried to force them to disperse.

At least two people were injured in the attack, witnesses said, while authorities said 10 people were arrested.

Mr. Yakubu was released on bail to officials of the Kaduna council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, six hours after his arrest by the police.

He returned to the police station on Wednesday as directed.

On Thursday, the Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, made a verbal apology on behalf of the command to Mr. Yakubu.

The police chief said, in his office, that his command will also consider replacing the journalist’s damaged equipment.

Mr. Yakubu met the police chief in company of other journalists.

“They have also confirmed that I am not a Shiite member as they alleged. I am just a journalist carrying out my constitutional responsibility,” Mr. Yakubu said.