The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) yesterday said it has no confidence in the proposed investigation by the Department of State Services (DSS) into the reported assault on Vanguard newspaper photojournalist, Oluwagbemiga Olamikan, by officials of the agency.
It described the proposed probe as an exercise in futility that would not have any credibility. It called for a serious, independent and impartial investigation into this and other attacks against journalists. In a statement issued in Lagos rejecting the proposed DSS investigation, MRA Legal Officer, Obioma Adesewa Okonkwo said: “The idea that the DSS plans to investigate itself in order to bring about a resolution of this matter is offensive to any concept of justice or fairness and runs counter to the well established legal principle of fairness that you cannot be a judge in your own cause.
“If anyone has any doubt about the inherent lack of credibility of such a process, the person needs to look no further than the statement made by Dr. Peter Afunanya, the public relations officer of the DSS, on August 3 in announcing the plan by the security agency to conduct an investigation and even before any investigation has started, that the DSS is a responsible security organisation with good working relationship with the media and so could not have assaulted journalists.”