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IPC calls for investigation of alleged harassment of journalists by Fr Mbaka

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A CALL has been made by the international Press Center (IPC) for exhaustive investigation into the alleged physical assault on BBC journalists in the South East by a Catholic Priest, Fr. Ejike Mbaka and some members of his Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria (AMEN).

  Executive Director of IPC, Lanre Arogundade, in his statement stated: “Journalists in Nigeria have become highly endangered species and it is important to get to the root of this matter, so that the perpetrators can be made to face the law and serve as a deterrent to others.”

  It was alleged that Mbaka and members of his ministry attacked BBC correspondents,

Chioma Obianinwa and Nnamdi Agbanelo, in Enugu State recently.

  In the statement, IPC deprecated the way journalists have been subjected to attacks while performing their duties.

  Assault on journalists by overzealous persons, he stated, constitutes a grave offence under the Nigerian law and is punishable by virtue of the provisions of the criminal code.

  He said such attacks should be condemned and assaults on journalists on line of duty as an attack on their human, journalistic and democratic rights.

journalistic and democratic rights.

  Arogundade called on the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command to investigate the allegation and ensure that justice is dispensed accordingly, adding that  they would not rest until justice is served.

  BBC News (Pidgin) and many media reports had it that the BBC crew had scheduled an interview with Fr. Mbaka, but that while waiting outside his premises in their vehicle, a group of 20 men surrounded them.

  It was reported that the crew was issued death threats for allegedly writing negative reports about the priest, among physical and verbal attacks by the men and the cleric.

  The spokesperson for Fr. Mbaka’s Adoration Ministry, Maximus Ugwuoke, said the ministry was not aware of the presence of the BBC team on the Adoration Ground to interview Mbaka.  

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