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Ondo Sports Commissioner ‘Ass@ults’ NAN Journalist

During the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primary in Ondo, Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye, the Ondo state commissioner for sports, reportedly assaulted Tayo Ikujuni, a senior journalist with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Ikujuni, an assistant editor-in-chief with NAN, was in Oba-Ile in the Akure north LGA of the state when he was allegedly attacked by Yusuf-Ogunleye.

Narrating his ordeal, Ikujuni claimed that the commissioner allegedly punched his hand, collected his phone and threw it away.

He equally ordered some of his political thugs to seize a Samsung tablet phone belonging to the reporter,” he said.

Trouble started at about 11.45 when the reporter inquired if the electoral materials had arrived since they had started counting. Immediately, Yusuf-Ogunleye shouted, Who are you? You’re a useless journalist. You’re a stupid journalist. Go away from here.

It was the quick intervention of some party chieftains and security personnel that rescued the reporter from the midst of the commissioner’s violent thugs.

However, the Ondo chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has condemned the “assault” on the journalist.

The NUJ described the alleged physical assault on the senior journalist as ”barbaric” and “unacceptable.”

In a statement on Saturday, Leke Adegbite, NUJ chairperson, said the action of the commissioner was uncivilised.

The union called on Lucky Aiyedatiwa, governor of Ondo, to ensure a thorough investigation of the incident.

The union also said Aiyedatiwa should place Ogunleye on indefinite suspension for his action against the journalist.

Ondo NUJ observes with sadness that Mr Ogunleye’s attitude to media professionals was unbecoming of a public office holder,” Adegbite said.

“We call on Mr Governor, Hon. Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa to place Mr Saka Ogunleye on indefinite suspension for his physical assault on a Senior journalist like Tayo Ikujunni while performing his constitutional roles of monitoring the APC primaries.

“We call on the Commissioner to replace damaged handset of the journalist and tender unreserved apology to the victim and the media industry.

“We equally direct Media Houses and professionals to halt the coverage and activities of the Commissioner until our demands are met”.

Reacting to this incident, the commissioner of sport denied assaulting the journalist, saying “I only requested for his identity card. I didn’t assault him.”

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