Security aides attached to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday manhandled Vanguard newspaper’s photographer accredited to cover the Presidential Villa, Mr. Abayomi Adeshida, in Abuja.
The incident took place at the State House Banquet Hall, allegedly in the full glare of the vice president who was gracing the opening session of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) chaired by Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Narrating his experience to newsmen, Adeshida said he was at the venue to take photographs of the vice president, who was on a tour of the exhibition stands at the event, when five personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS) pounced on him when Osinbajo was being presented a magazine as souvenir in one of the stands.
The photographer said he was not told his offence, neither did he do anything untoward to warrant his being assaulted.
He said the operatives hit him, dragged him on the floor and damaged his professional camera.
“I was shocked when these DSS men started beating me for no apparent reason. They tore off my Presidential Villa accreditation tag on the shirt and dragged me on the floor while hitting and kicking me.
“I believe they would have done much worse if not for the intervention of the vice president’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC), who I noticed was signalling them to leave me alone.
“I am feeling severe pains all over my body, particular on my right leg, on which I don’t know what they hit me with,” Adeshida said before he rushed to report the matter to his regional editor who accompanied him to a hospital for treatment.
The incident happened barely 24 hours after 35 aides of the number two citizen were sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was away on a private visit to the United Kingdom.
But Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, lamented the development, stating that the matter would be thoroughly investigated.
He, however, said he had already called the photographer personally to apologise over the incident.
“Let me investigate the matter. I will find out what happened and deal with the issue,” he added.