National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Lagos State branch, has condemned the destruction of properties at the Lagos High Court and Magistrates’ Court in Igbosere by hoodlums who infiltrated the #EndSARS protests last month.
In a statement yesterday, the association, through the chairman, Peter Fowoyo, noted its support for peaceful protesters demanding their rights from a democratic government but condemned razing of properties.
On the extent of damage at the press centre in Igbosere, he said: “Our press centre within the court premises was badly affected, like office equipment worth several millions of naira, purchased last year through efforts of our members, were either carted away or burnt down by hoodlums.
“We, therefore, call on the government to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others in the future.”
The NAJUC chairman urged the Federal Government to ensure that journalists’ lives and properties were adequately protected by security operatives and government policies, to enable them to discharge their functions according to the constitution.
Fowoyo called on the judiciary to establish press centres in all the courts across the country, to establish a symbiotic relationship between the judiciary and the media, especially those assigned to the judiciary beat.
“It is imperative to state that, ironically, journalists in Nigeria, who report about other people’s plights in the society, have no hazard allowance in the course of doing their jobs. Some are even owed salaries for months.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government, through the Minister for Information, to review salary structures and allowances of journalists, especially in government-owned media organisations in the country, just as it is doing to the police and other sectors of the economy.”