The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has urged Nigerian authorities to thoroughly investigate the attack on journalist Frederick Olatunde Odimayo after he reported on the drug trade in Lokoja, Kogi State.
In a statement on Wednesday, the CPJ called on authorities to hold those responsible to account.
On April 16, Odimayo, a freelance reporter and editor lost consciousness after he was attacked by five men following his report on the drug trade.
Privately owned news website Wadata Media published a report by Odimayo on March 31 about the drug trade in Lokoja. He went undercover as a drug buyer to expose a local trafficking group, according to the CPJ.
“Authorities in Nigeria must identify those who assaulted journalist Frederick Olatunde Odimayo and ensure they are held to account – including those who planned the attack,” Angela Quintal, the CPJ’s Africa program coordinator, said.
“Journalists’ safety should be a top priority for Nigerian law enforcement, and that includes curbing impunity for violence against reporters.”
Police had confirmed the attack on Odimayo but did not identify the perpetrators.
On April 19, William Aya, the Kogi state police spokesperson, told CPJ that police had taken suspects into custody for questioning, but said they were not the suspected attackers themselves.
He declined to comment further and said additional details about the investigation would eventually be made public, the CPJ added.