A female journalist was on Saturday assaulted by some Department of State Security (DSS) officers as she tried to investigate a suspected case of Covid-19 at a hotel in Owerri.
Mrs. Angela Nkwo-Akpolu, the Imo state correspondent of Leadership Newspaper, was said to have gone to Fancy Hotel, located in Umuguma area of Owerri West, to find DSS officials had taken over the hotel, with five guests within.
It was gathered a suspected case in Abuja mentioned the hotel as one of the places he visited, and the sealing of the hotel was as part of the contact tracing of suspected cases.
A source said the security team arrived the hotel at 1am on Saturday and directed neither entry nor exit for 14 days.
Nkwo-Akpolu, who narrated her experience said: “Due to repeated calls by colleagues to confirm if there was an incident at Fancy hotel, I volunteered to go get pictures. I had taken one or two from the comfort of my car. But when accosted by one of the security operatives, I introduced myself and he said no problems.
“Within the twinkle of an eye, this guy wearing DSS t-shirt, just walked up to me, seized my glasses and iPad and made attempts to beat me, save for the policemen with them who immediately tried to broker peace.
“As calmly as I could, I explained that I only came to get pictures as directed by the head office but the guy kept pushing me. I later collected my stuff but he had deleted several pictures. The policeman had stopped him from smashing it on the floor.
“After several appeals to shift because I was thoroughly shaken, I entered my car and drove off. Meanwhile the hotel is sealed with two security vehicles in front. I saw about five officials.”
Imo commissioner of Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, who confirmed the sealing of the hotel, said that the management defied the safety measures prescribed by the state government by refusing to provide sanitizer and water for washing hands.