Three operatives of the Department of State Services in Osun State on Monday brutalised and threatened to shoot two journalists, who were covering a protest by the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees on the premises of the Osun State House of Assembly.
Our correspondent gathered that trouble started when the journalists, Timothy Agbor of The Point Newspapers, and Toba Adedeji of the Osun Defender, took pictures of the protesters along the Gbongan-Osogbo Road on their way to the House of Assembly.
A female operative of the DSS, dressed in a black polo shirt, accosted Agbor and demanded to know his mission. The journalist was said to have told the lady that he was a journalist.
It was gathered that the lady got angry when Agbor also demanded the identity of the operative.
Adedeji, who narrated his ordeal and that his colleague to our correspondent, said the female operative threatened to slap Agbor.
He said, “The lady demanded to know our identities and we told her that we were journalists. Timothy (Agbor) also demanded her identity since she was not wearing any uniform.
“This got her angry and she threatened to slap Timothy. Thinking that she was bluffing, Timothy made a joke of the whole issue. But before he could finish his statement, the lady rained slapped him. Timothy slapped her once.
“Another DSS operative grabbed Timothy and the two of them assaulted the journalist. I managed to escape because they also made to grab me.”
Adedeji said NULGE officials intervened and rescued Agbor from the operatives.
He further stated that the armed DSS operative, having realised that their act of brutality might have been recorded, made an attempt to seize Agbor’s mobile phone, but he fled.
It was learnt that Agbor made some calls to other journalists, but the DSS operatives launched another attack.
Adedeji said, “The armed DSS operatives gave me a vicious kick and I fell inside a drainage channel.
“The male DSS official grabbed Agbor’s phone and broke it into two.
Agbor, who had a swollen face and some bruises on his face, said the assault was reported at the state DSS office in Osogbo.
He added that they (victims) went to the DSS office in company with the Chairman of the NUJ Correspondent Chapel, Hammed Oyegbade; and Secretary, Niyi Ajibola.
Agbor said, “Their deputy director and other top officials said I attacked a lady. That was the story the lady told them. But can I just slap a lady when I am not insane? I know that they wanted to cover up the matter.”
The state Director of the DSS, Ike Madunagwu, when contacted by our correspondent on the telephone, said he was not around.
He said the command would handle the case.