BY SEGUN ADEBAYO, ABUJA – A photojournalist with the Vanguard Newspapers, covering activities of the Presidential Villa, Mr. Abayomi Adeshida, was on Thursday beaten and brutalized by some security personnel attached to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
The unfortunate incident took place at the Banquet Hall of Aso Villa, Abuja during the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), chaired by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Abayomi, who is duly accredited to cover the Presidential Villa and was putting on his identification tag when the incident took place, told journalists that his unwarranted ordeal in the hands of the security details of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was most uncalled for and unwarranted.
He explained that he was taking photographs of the Vice-President, who was on a tour of the exhibition stands at the event when suddenly five personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) in a commando faction pounced on him as Osinbajo was being presented with a copy of magazine as souvenir at a particular stand. In the words of Adeshida: “I was not spoken to neither did I resist any instruction. I have been covering the Villa for years and I know that I did not breach any no go area nor did I commit any infraction. I did not also obstruct the event. I did not do anything out of the ordinary before the security details started hitting him, dragged me on the floor and damaged my professional camera right in the presence of the Vice-President.
“I was shocked when these DSS personnel started beating me for no apparent reason. They tore off my Presidential Villa accreditation tag on my shirt, 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 severe pains all over my body and a particular pain on my right leg on which I don’t even know what they hit me with,” Adeshida explained before heading to the hospital for medical treatment.
It was also gathered that none of the other aides of the Vice-President made any effort to stop the brutalization and humiliation of Adeshida in the presence of Osibanjo.
The unfortunate incident took place barely 30hours after 35 aides of the Vice-President were sacked on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is away on a private visit to the United Kingdom.