14 October 1997


Eight staff members of television station beaten

Incident details



(IJC/IFEX) - Eight staffers of Yobe State Television (YTV), in
Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, were severely beaten on 6
October 1997 on the orders of the state military administrator,
Wing Commander John Ben Kalio. The administrator was said to have
been annoyed over YTV's airing of a 45-minute documentary on the
achievements of his predecessor, Police Commander Dabo Aliyu. The
documentary mentioned, among other things, social achievements
such as the creation of boreholes, hand pumps, schools and the
promotion of rural infrastructure.

When Kalio saw the documentary, he ordered soldiers stationed at
the Government House to go to the station, arrest all the staff
on duty, bring them to the House and shut down the station.
Reports said that Kalio personally supervised the drilling and
beating exercise and only ordered his men to stop when he
observed that some of the staffers were becoming unconscious.

The staffers were thrown into a pick-up van and driven to the
state headquarters of one of the security agencies, where they
were briefly detained before being taken to the hospital for

The government has issued no statement on the issue, but sources
in Damaturu said that Kalio viewed televising the documentary as
a deliberate attempt to undermine the achievements of his
administration and ridicule him before the people of the state.


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