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News Editor Gruesomely Murdered in his Home

 

On  September 20, 2009 at about 6.52 a.m local time, Mr. Bayo Ohu, an assistant news editor with the private daily, The Guardian newspapers was gruesomely murdered in his home in Egbeda, a Lagos suburb by a gang of about six men who riddled his body with bullets. The assassins took away his laptop and mobile phone. No other flat or house in the area was attacked.

 

The men came in a white Toyota Camry saloon car, wearing white flowing gowns with matching skull caps

 

Ohu was reported to be getting ready to attend Church service after seeing off his wife, Ochuko, and sister-in-law, to the early morning service when he heard someone knocking on his door. The moment he opened the front door to attend to the person knocking, the gunmen shot him point blank at short range with a volley of bullets. As he staggered back into the house screaming for help, the assailants followed him inside and rained more bullets into him. One bullet that hit him on the right side of his chest came out at the left side and tore through his arm. They took only his laptop and mobile phone handset.

 

One of Bayo’s children reported that from her hiding place she heard one of the assailants shouting out jubilantly to his colleagues: "Olori buruku o ti ku (the fool is dead)."

 

His neighbours who could muster courage came to his rescue after the assailants left took him to a nearby hospital as they noticed he was still breathing, but the hospital staff on duty insisted on a Police Report before they can administer even first aid on him. The neighbours then decided to take him to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Ikeja but the doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and civil society stakeholders, including Media Rights Agenda (MRA) met in Lagos on 21 September 2009 to deliberate on the assassination. On 22 September they called a press conference addressed by the NUJ National President, Mallam Garba Muhammed at which they expressed their pains over the gruesome murder.

They noted among other things that journalists have become targets of assassins; that Nigerian journalists work in an environment where there is no insurance for the enormous risks they face in the discharge of their duties; that the security agencies are unable, unwilling or incapable of unraveling the several deaths of journalists.

 They therefore, decided to send a protest letter to the Inspector General of Police, Ogbonaya Onovo to get to the root of the gruesome murder and called for full coroner's inquest of his death while also asking government to set up panel of inquiry to unravel those responsible for the gruesome murder, among others.

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