The Management of Leadership Newspaper has asked Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola to deliver on his promise to fish out the attackers of its photojournalist, Mr. Benedict Uwalaka.
Uwalaka was attacked on Thursday by mortuary attendants at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja while covering the release of the corpses of victims of Dana plane crash to their relatives.
In a letter signed by the Group Managing Director, Azubuike Ishiekwene, and titled, ‘Attempted Murder of Photojournalist Benedict Uwalaka’, the company insisted that Uwalaka did not commit any crime and had gone to the place on invitation.
The letter read in part, “We appreciate the swift response of the governor to the incident and his public apology. More important, we note his promise to investigate the matter and to bring the culprits to justice.
“Mr. Uwalaka, a photojournalist, committed no crime. He had turned up, on invitation, at LASUTH to cover the release of the remains of victims of the Dana Air crash. He had not even started his assignment when bloodthirsty hounds descended on him with broken bottles, iron rods and other dangerous weapons.
“We request, therefore, that pursuant to your promise, you use your good offices to seek justice for Mr Uwalaka. All those who took part in the bestial assault and battery should be identified and charged to court immediately.”
Meanwhile, the management of TOS Memorial, the mortuary where the incident occurred, said none of its workers was involved in the assault on Uwalaka.
The legal counsel for the management, Mr.Kunle Carew, who spoke at a press briefing at LASUTH on Monday, said the Chief Marketing Officer of the mortuary, Mr. Bayo Ogunshola, only accosted the victim when he was seen taking pictures of the corpses against the management’s instructions.
Carew said, “Everybody complied with the instruction. But, Uwalaka took another entrance to get a better shot and Bayo asked him to produce the camera to remove offending pictures.
“While they were arguing, Uwalaka slapped Bayo thrice. But after he managed to get the camera, Bayo came back inside. Every other thing that happened, we are not aware of it.