AFRICAN Independent Television (AIT) journalist Nagari Damina has been paid compensation by the Bauchi State Police Command after he was assaulted and wounded by police officers attached to the Rapid Response Squad while on official duty three weeks ago.
In an unprecedented move, Sylvester Alabi, the Bauchi State police commissioner, ordered that Mr Damina be compensated and personally presented him with a new laptop computer, two smart phones and camera which were lost during the incident. When the attack occurred, it incurred the wrath of the media in the state and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) ordered a media blackout of the Bauchi State Police Command.
Presenting Mr Damina with his destroyed items, Mr Alabi commended the leadership of the NUJ in the state for jettisoning its planned street demonstration against the action of the police following his sympathy visit to the union secretariat. He also appealed to the union to lift the ban on the coverage of the Nigeria Police Force activities in the state so that their operations could be publicised.
Mr Alabi reiterated the readiness of the police command to work harmoniously with journalists for the good of the people of the state. Responding, Umar Sa’id, the chairman of the Bauchi State chapter of the NUJ, lauded the police commissioner for his concern over the plight of the victim and for redeeming his pledge to offer compensation.
He assured Mr Alabi that the union would convene a meeting with the state executive council to review the embargo imposed on police activities in the state. Mr Damina has suffered injuries during the assault and had to be hospitalised.