Operatives of COVID-19 Taskforce setup by the Osun State Government to enforce the usage of face-mask by the people of the state has allegedly brutalised a journalist working with DAILY POST newspaper, Mr Sikiru Obarayese for taking pictures.
Obarayese was allegedly beaten at the popular Old Garage area of Osogbo, capital of the state alongside a middle-aged woman and other members of the public.
According to Obarayese who sustained serious injuries on his left elbow and right leg, the operatives were allegedly ordered to beat him by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo Adeleke when he was taking reports of the harassment of some members of the public by the security agents.
The reporter in his account with OsunDefender said that several residents of the state were harassed by the security officers who were hitherto mandated to mete out fines to erring members of the public.
“I was taking pictures with my phone when they were harassing those who didn’t use a face mask. A woman was reporting that they had beat her and I was recording the woman.”
“The Joint Task Force led by Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Adebayo Adeleke approached me, asked why I was taking pictures. I told them this a public place and also informed them that I am a journalist.
“In the cause of bringing out my ID from my pocket, a policeman attached to the JTF said “you are mad, where is your ID card” and wanted to snatch my phone.”
“Four policemen attacked me and started slapping and hit me with a baton in my joints hands and leg. I fell and they were matching me. To my surprise, I heard the Commissioner for Local Government and chieftaincy ordering them to beat me and take me along with those they had arrested.”
“I was later released when some journalists at the venue approached them.”
Obarayese has been treated at the State Specialist Hospital, Asubiaro, Osogbo.
All efforts to reach the Commissioner proved abortive as calls and text message to his phone number were neither answered, acknowledged nor replied.
Meanwhile, It would be recalled that on July 13, 2020 some officers of the Osun State Police command, brutalized the chairman of Osun Online Media Practitioners Association (OOMPA), Jare Tiamiyu.
It was gathered that Tiamiyu was on his way to his office in his private car when he was stopped by the policemen who were in mufti along Okini-Osogbo way.
Tiamiyu asked to identify himself but the policemen accused him of being arrogant in his response.
The journalist told our correspondent that he was slapped by an officer who also threatened to implicate him by planting a pistol in his car.
Tiamiyu added that his Phone and laptop were seized.