Nigerian Armed force staff and agents of the State Security Administration on Wednesday assaulted a news group setting up at an inn in downtown Benin, the Edo State capital, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The group, which included correspondents, makers and a driver, landed in Benin on Tuesday evening and in this manner checked in at Douban Lodging along Airplane terminal Street, Taiye Garick, the editorial manager of Guard dog Media, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday.
"At roughly 1:45 a.m. fighters and SSS specialists raged the inn and requested the whereabouts of our columnists," Mr. Garrick said citing witnesses. "They went from space to room dragging them out and brutalizing them."
Mr. Garrick said his staff were then dragged into a holding up van and taken to the SSS field office in Benin, where they remained bolted as at 7:00 p.m.Wednesday.
Mr. Garrick said the warriors were connected to "Operation Electrical storm" which is being facilitated by the Armed force's fourth Automated Unit in Benin.
The influenced columnists and their assignments as recorded by Mr. Garrick in an email to PREMIUM TIMES are as per the following:
The influenced newsmen include: Tony Abulu (Generation Supervisor); Richard Hasley (Correspondent); Opara Uche (Columnist); Convenient Romeo Eze (Journalist); Kelvin Toryila (Video Editorial manager) and Lanre Ogunleye, an IT partner.
Others include: Balogun Ehigie (IT ); Kenneth Danpome (Head IT), Mathew (Logistics Administrator) and Joe Epi (Driver).
"The writers were taken away, wearing just boxers after they were brutalized and their properties including personality cards, portable PCs and cellular telephones were seized from them," Mr. Garrick said.
Mr. Garrick said they were in Benin to do overview of voters and report on early arrangements of INEC and different partners in front of the gubernatorial decision holding there on September 28.
Armed force representative, Sani Usman, did not react to PREMIUM TIMES' ask for input.
The administration of Douban Lodging declined remarks Wednesday evening.
Be that as it may, Edo State Police Advertising Officer, Theodore Okafor, affirmed the advancement to PREMIUM TIMES.
"A few specialists of the SSS and fighters from the fourth Automated Unit went to the inn around 10 p.m.," Mr. Okafor, a DSP, said. "They looked the inn and a few people were taken away. They're being cross examined at the fourth Unit now."
Mr. Garrick censured rising "instances of assaults against free discourse" and requested a prompt arrival of his staff.
"I am profoundly disheartened to see that the rising instances of assaults against writers, bloggers and other free discourse advocates have gotten to my turn," Mr. Garrick said. "I never knew it would get to this degree or to me."
The invasion against Guard dog Media team comes precisely two weeks after SSS agents raged the habitation of Emenike Iroegbu, a political blogger situated in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.