…assaulted by soldiers for carrying out professional duty
By: Okosun Dennis
Abiodun Omotosho, is among 17 other journalists that would be honoured with an award on Wednesday by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of its 2020/2021 Press Freedom Lecture and Award night.
The event is scheduled to hold at Ladi Kwali Hall, Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 at 6pm.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila will deliver a lecture on Press Freedom, Democracy and Good Governance, while Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Senator Jibrin Barau will be the Chairman of the event.
Omostoho was singled out after he was assaulted by some soldiers at the popular market, “Arena” located at Ikeja military Cantonment, Lagos.
The photojournalist was said to have taken pictures of traders who displayed their wares and carrying out other services at the front of the Arena Market, by Bolade Bus stop, along the Lagos-Abeokuta motor road.
Few hours after his detention, Omotosho collapsed at the military police detention facility and was rushed to the Medical Registry System (MRS) for resuscitation and treatment.
Other awardees included: Charles Eyo, Mary Ekere, Henry Umoru Emelda Joy Odor, King Solomon Ekhalyeme, Kehinde Shonola, Adepoju Tobi, Daniel Eniola, Wale Amoo, Isaac Ayodele, Prince Bamigbala Ademola Michael Otogo, Abiodun Williams, Bunmi Azeez, Kayode Jaiyeola, Sunday Adesanya and Abiodun Omotoso.
According to Midat Joseph,
Assistant National Secretary, NUJ, in a statement said “this is a high profile event organized to motivate Journalists, promote press freedom, and stimulate good governance and democracy in Nigeria, through the recognition of courageous journalists (dead or alive) who have risked their lives by reporting news events beneficial to the society.
“We will use the event to also honour media icons and friends of the media who have distinguished themselves in supporting and sustaining press freedom in Nigeria.
“To this end, we delightfully announce that the NUJ’s selection committee in partnership with Enentis Communications Ltd had completed the selection process of these distinguished Nigerians, corporate organizations and members of the media for a special award.
House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Sen. Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC, Speaker, Abia State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Chinedum Orji and Mr Akparawa Ephraim Akparawa Inyang-Eyen, Chief of Staff to Akwa Ibom State Governor were selected for the award as Distinguished Friends of the Media after sifting through many nominations received from Journalists and members of the Nigerian public.
For the Defender of Press Freedom Awards, Senator Jibrin Barau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations, Dr. Samson Agada Omale, Managing Director, Rock Global Investment Network Ltd, London and Chief James Ume, Chirman, Whistler Communications Ltd scaled through the nomination process.
While Mr Tony Akiotu, Group Managing Director, Daar Communications Plc and Yakubu Ibn Mohammed, Director General, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards.
Press Freedom Platform Awards will be given to Arise News Television and Nigeria Info FM. The Central Bank of Nigeria and Access Bank were selected for Corporate Friends of the Media Awards.
17 Journalists who have suffered acts of brutality, harassment, arrest, imprisonment and assaults in the course of the work have been selected for the award of Torch Bearers of Press Freedom.