CPJ demands investigation into Precious Owolabi’s murder | TODAY.NG

Precious Owolabi

The Committee to Protect Journalists has demanded an investigation into the shooting that resulted in the death of Precious Owolabi, a reporter working with the Channels Television, on Monday.

Mr Owolabi, who was serving with the private-owned television as part of his National Youth Service Corp programme, was killed while covering a clash between members of the Shiite IMN and the Nigerian Police on Monday, July, 22.

A deputy police commissioner, Usman Umar, was also killed during the clash.

Although, the police have accused the Shiite members of being responsible for the killing, the CPJ said it received reports from witnesses who accused the police of being the only ones shooting during the clash.

Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, told journalists shortly after the clash that 54 Shiite members had been arrested following the violence.

But in its statement, the CPJ said the Nigerian government owes it a duty to hold the culprits in the killing of Mr Owolabi responsible for their actions.

“A swift and credible investigation into the shooting that killed Precious Owolabi is critical for journalists in Nigeria to believe the government is committed to their safety,” said CPJ Africa Program Coordinator, Angela Quintal.

“Journalists should never be targeted during the course of their work, and when members of the press are harmed, those responsible must be held accountable,” she added.

Mr Owolabi is the second journalist with the Channels Television to have died while covering clashes within Nigeria.

In 2012, a reporter Enenche Akogwu was killed while covering the Boko Haram violence in Kano State.

Shortly after the Killings of Mr Owolabi and the police officer, President Muhammadu Buhari commiserated with the family of the deceased and condemned the incident.

The Nigerian government has considered proscribing the Shiite group whose leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaki has been in detention since 2015 after the army killed hundreds of their members.

The group members have vowed to continue their protest until their leader is released.

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