NUJ condemns alleged assault on NAN Assistant Chief Correspondent by VIO

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By Aderogba George

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Chapel has condemned the alleged assault on Mrs Philomina Attah, an Editor/Assistant Chief Correspondent of the agency by an official of the Director of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services, FCT Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO).

This is contained in a letter to the director of the FCT VIO  titled “PROTEST LETTER AGAINST ASSAULT OF A NAN JOURNALIST, CAUTION YOUR OFFICERS” dated Oct. 5.

The letter was jointly signed by the Chairman, Collins Yakubu-Hammer and Secretary, Funmilayo Adeyemi respectively  and copied to the Minister of FCT and Chairman of NUJ FCT Council.

Others copied are the Chairperson of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) FCT Chapter, Chairperson, Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) FCT Chapter, and the Executive Secretary, National Human Right Commission.

The union expressed sadness over the alleged unprofessional conduct perpetrated by a VIO Officer identified as Officer James, attached to the Idu outpost of the service.

“On Sept. 29, officer James assaulted Attah, an Editor/Assistant Chief Correspondent on her way to work to attend an editorial meeting.

“He stopped her in the middle of the road at the Idu Junction, Abuja and refused to allow her to pull over, claiming her papers had expired, even when it was pasted on her car windscreen that it would expire on Sept. 30, and she had already initiated the renewal process with the service.

“The said officer slapped her, calling her unprintable names. Some few minutes after the humiliation and assault, she got a text message via her phone that her vehicle papers renewal process was successful.

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“In as much as the union will not want to press legal charges against the directorate/VIO and the said officer for now, we will appreciate it if you can call your officers to order,” the union said.

The union demanded a written apology by officer James of the Idu outpost of the service.

It also urged the directorate to take disciplinary action against officer James to deter other overzealous staff of the service.

The NAN NUJ pleaded with the director to look into the issue of neatness, civility/decorum, professionalism and sanity of the officers on the road.

“As partners in progress, we will always educate our members to ensure obedience to traffic signs, lights and renewal of vehicle papers as at when due” the union said. (NAN)

Edited by Collins Yakubu-Hammer/Sadiya Hamza

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja

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