The Akwa Ibom State (South-south Nigeria) correspondent of The Nation Newspaper, Mr. Kazeem Ibrahym, was on December 9, 2012, assaulted and beaten to coma by three operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) after he honoured an invitation to cover the activities marking the 50th birthday anniversary celebrations of the state Governor, Godswill Akpabio. The SSS is Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency.
Mr. Kazeem Ibrahym and other journalists had been invited to the Akwa Ibom State Government House in Uyo to cover the governor’s birthday celebration. However, on arrival there, the journalists were initially denied entry into the hall where the birthday celebration was taking place by security operatives. Governor Akpabio’s chief press secretary, Anietie Ukpe, intervened and they were allowed to enter the hall.
After two of the journalists entered and Ibrahym was about to follow, he was stopped by an operative of the SSS who pushed him back. Ibrahym asked why he was being barred from an event to which he had been invited after he had shown his invitation. His audacity in asking infuriated the SSS operatives who immediately swooped on him and beat him up.
Ibrahym said the security men held his neck and pushed him to the ground while beating him causing him to sustain bruises on his body. The intervention of the governor’s press secretary did not yield fruit as the security men threatened to deal with him as well.