The Abuja council of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ had condemned the killing of Precious Owolabi, a reporter with the Channels Television who was caught in the exchange of fire between Shiite protesters and the police in Abuja on Tuesday. Owolabi, a corps member who covered the protests for the television house was mortally wounded and later died in the hospital. A statement by the council stated in part, “The death of Precious Owolabi signifies how brutish and short life has become in Nigeria and
signposts the danger faced by journalists daily in carrying out their constitutional mandate of holding government and its officials accountable to Nigerians.” The NUJ blamed
government for its failure to protect the deceased, according to his constitutional right, and take positive step to stop the conflict between it and the restive religious group. The sect had been carrying our series of protests as part of efforts to pressure government to obey court orders for the release of their leader, El Zakky Zakky from detention. Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN and counsel to the sect leader had recently raised alarm that his client’s health was deteriorating.