By Doosuur Iwambe, Daily Times, Abuja
An online journalist, Emma Bricks Oko has been sentenced by a Mobile Court which sat in Utako to 6 hours community service with a fine of 5, 000 Naira only for doing his job.
The Magistrate, Mabel Bello who denied the journalist his right to fair hearing went ahead to slam the conviction despite pleas to State his own side of the story.
Bricks Oko was apprehended for using his phone to record the Joint Tasks Force in the act of malhandling a commercial motorcycle and tricycle riders in the Apo area of the FCT.
Passengers reportedly fell off a tricycle and got injured as the Joint Task Force comprising of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil defence Corp and Vehicle Inspection Officers engaged the operator in a hot chase.
The journalist, Bricks oko was spotted recording the ordeal of the transporters and injured passengers and was promptly arrested and first taken to the Mobile Court at Dantata bridge along lugbe road where the Magistrate declined to hear the case on Monday.
He was subsequently arraigned yesterday at the Utako Magistrate Court where the Magistrate, Mabel Bello summarily sentenced him to 6 hours comm work and a fine of 5, 000 Naira only without granting him his right to fair hearing.
Narratting his ordeal Oko said, “I could not sit back and watch the helpless passengers fall off a tricycle while being chased by the team and shy away.
“I decided to record the incident for onward publication with so that Nigerians will know how uncivil those that are meant to protect the people behave.
“Yes, I know there is a lockdown, I know there is COVID-19. But that does not mean Nigerians should be treated like animals.
“I am baffled by the judgement delivered by the Magistrate who did not even watch the video I recorded before passing her judgment.
“She criminalized me for taking video of how Nigerians were being manhandled by the security forces.” Oko lamented.
He added that if things continue this way, security forces will keep killing Nigerians and nobody would help for fear of being criminalized for serving humanity.
Emma Bricks Oko who had worked as a reporter with ITV and love FM in the nation’s capital, is the online publisher of Bricks Writes and hails from Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
Watch the video Bricks recorded which led to him being charged with “not being on official duty and not having the presidential clearance” and convicted below.