The Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) strongly condemns the attack on journalist Sinafi Omanga of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) by a mob reportedly led by military personnel in Abuja on Thursday, March 30, 2023.
According to a report, Mr Omanga was attacked by a mob for about two hours while trying to record an incident of jungle justice against two men accused of stealing a mobile phone.
The attack was led by a man and a woman who identified themselves as soldiers in the Nigerian Army, with the man wearing an army uniform. Omanga was physically assaulted, threatened with death, and forced to pay N4,000 into a third party’s account before his phone was returned.
The CWPPF is deeply concerned about this attack on Omanga and the implications it has for press freedom in Nigeria. Journalists must be able to carry out their professional duties of reporting on issues of public interest without fear of violence or reprisals. The government has an obligation to protect them.
We call on the Nigerian government to take immediate action to investigate this incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. We also urge the government to ensure the safety and protection of journalists in the country, as attacks on journalists are becoming all too common and threaten press freedom and democracy.
We stand in solidarity with Omanga and all journalists in Nigeria who are risking their lives to report the truth and hold those in power accountable. The CWPPF will continue to advocate for press freedom and the protection of whistleblowers in Nigeria and around the world.
The CWPPF is a group of media and civil society organizations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.
Daily Trust Newspaper
International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ)
Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)
African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
Civic Media Lab
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
International Press Centre (IPC)
International Press Institute (IPI)
Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
HEDA Resources Centre.