Security aides attached to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday beat a photographer of Vanguard Newspaper, Mr Abayomi Adeshida, who is accredited to cover the activities of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The incident took place at the State House Banquet Hall, Abuja, allegedly in the full glare of the Vice President who was gracing the opening session of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) chaired by Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Narrating his experience to newsmen, Adeshida said he was at the venue to take photographs of the Vice-President, who was on a tour of the exhibition stands at the event, when five personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) allegedly pounced on him at the cusp of Prof Osinbajo being presented a copy of a magazine as souvenir in one of the exhibition stands.
Adeshida said he was not told his offence, neither did he do anything untoward to warrant his being assaulted by the security details.
He said the operatives hit him, even as they dragged him over the floor and damaged his professional camera, right in the presence of the Vice-President.
“I was shocked when these DSS started beating me for no apparent reason,” Adeshida said. “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 a particularly severe pain on my right leg. I don’t even know what they hit me with.”
The photographer reported the matter to his regional editor, who accompanied him to a hospital in the Central Area, Abuja, for treatment.
He explained that while the incident happened, the other aides of the Vice-President did not make any efforts to stop his humiliation.
The incident happened barely 24 hours after 35 aides of the Vice-President were sacked and their accreditation tags seized allegedly on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is away on a private visit to the United Kingdom.
Reacting to The Guardian via a telephone chat, Prof Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande lamented the development, stating that the matter will be thoroughly investigated.
He said he had already called the photographer personally to apologise over the incident