THE Ondo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has protested an alleged harassment and humiliation of some of its members at a Magistrates’ Court in Akure, the state capital.
The union said it was uncivilised and professional that a police prosecutor and a magistrate humiliated reporters doing their lawful duties in an open court.
The union stated this in the protest letter by its Chairman Adetona Adetoboye and Secretary Leke Adegbite to the CJ and police commissioner.
The letter accused a magistrate, Mrs Charity Adeyanju and a police prosecutor, Inspector Uloh Goodluck, of working out reporters and stopping them from covering the trial of Prophet Alfa Babatunde of Sotitobire Church.
In the letter, dated January 17, 2020, the union bemoaned the unprofessional conduct of Inspector Goodluck, who the reporters said verbally attacked them in the court.
The letter reads: “We write to humbly seek Your Lordship’s intervention in the harassment and humiliation of some of our members who were at the state Magistrates’ Court sitting in Oke-Eda, Akure, on Friday, January 17, 2020, to cover the court proceedings in a case involving the state against Prophet Alfa Babatunde and others.
“Before the court’s sitting on the said date, the already seated reporters were personally ordered out of the court by the trial magistrate, Mrs Adeyanju, and were equally prevented from covering the case without any ‘known offence’ in an open court.”
The NUJ added: “Over the years, all judges and magistrates in the state can testify to the fact that Ondo State parades the best set of journalists who covered courts’ proceedings with a high level of professionalism and decorum.
“Your Lordship, we write this protest letter to register the displeasure of over 400 journalists in the state on the ‘uncivilised’ prevention of the media from performing their lawful duties in an open court.”