Villa security beats up journalist for snapping pictures

Security men attached to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday beat up a photojournalist attached to the presidential villa, for attempting to take photographs of the Vice President at a public function.

It comes barely 24 hours after 35 of Osinbajo’s 80 aides were said to have been sacked with the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The photojournalist, Abayomi Adeshida working for Vanguard newspaper was attacked by five burly security men when he clicked away while Osinbajo was being presented with a souvenir during the opening of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at the presidential villa Banquet Hall.

NiDCOM is chaired by former journalist and legislator, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Adeshida, who narrated his ordeal to other State House correspondents, said he had not been warned not to take photographs in an apparent routine engagement of the Vice President.

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He said he was therefore shocked when the security men believed to be personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) suddenly descended on him while he was snapping the presentation of a magazine to the Vice President at a particular stand.

The veteran photojournalist said he was merely doing his job and had not caused an obstruction in any way before he was hit, dragged on the floor and his professional camera damaged.

He said: “I was shocked when these DSS started beating me for no apparent reason. They tore off my Presidential Villa accreditation tag on the shirt and dragged me on the floor while hitting me and kicking me.

“I believe they would have done much worse if not for the intervention of the Vice-President’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), who I noticed was making hand movements for them to leave me alone.

“I am feeling pains all over my body and particularly severe pain on my right leg on which I don’t even know what they hit me with.”

Adeshida, who had already gone to the hospital for treatment, said no other aide of the Vice President attempted to intervene and rescue him.

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