From Gambo Ahmed Lafia
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nasarawa state Command yesterday debunked an online media report alleging that its patrol team brutalized one Mr Ibrahim Ibrahim, a reporter with African Independent Television (AIT) and extorted motorists in Lafia, the state capital during their normal routine duty.
In a press statement signed by Nasarawa state FRSC Sector Command Public Enlightenment Officer Mr Martins Johnson, and made available to Peoples Daily, said that the online report first published by Independent.ng on June 30 titled “FRSC Officers Assault AIT Reporter over extortion of motorists in Nasarawa” is an unsubstantiated,
sensationalistic and fictitious effort aimed at tarnishing the image of the sector command because officers of the command did not brutalize any journalist or extort money from motorists as alleged.
According to him, “Ordinarily, we would not have responded to this callous, reckless, unsubstantiated, sensationalistic and baseless effort but for the damage it would cause to the enviable reputation of the FRSC in the minds of innocent Nigerians if we keep quiet hence our decision to put the records straight”.
He continued, “Firstly, the said extortion never took place and the said victim of the brutality was never brutalized at any point by men and officers of the FRSC, Nasarawa state command. He is alive, well and hearty and can attest to our defense.”
He added that, “rather the said AIT journalist was stopped from taking unauthorized pictures of our men who were busy doing their duties near the main gate of the Nasarawa state Polytechnic, along Jos road, Lafia and questioned on why he took the pictures without due authorization.”
The statement adds that FRSC then urged the AIT journalist to delete the pictures but he refused thereby creating a standoff between both parties and a traffic gridlock on the highway.
“The traffic hold up got the attention of many passersby and motorists including the convoy of the Emir of Lafia, Dr Isa Mustapha-Agwai passing by but had to stop for His Royal Highness who then listened to both parties and resolved the matter peacefully.