Benue journalists demand independent autopsy on late colleague

Vanguard missing reporter, Tordue Henry Salem, has been found dead in Abuja.

The Conference of Benue Journalists (CBJ), has called for an independent medical inquiry into the death of Tordue Salem, a Vanguard Newspaper journalist whose remains were found on Thursday in Abuja.

Mr Salem, who went missing on 13 October in Abuja, was an indigene of Benue State and a member of the association.

A month after his disappearance, police authorities paraded a 29-year-old hit-and-run driver, Itoro Clement, as Mr Salem’s killer.

The spokesperson of the Nigerian Police, Frank Mba, said on Friday that Mr Salem’s corpse was discovered at the Wuse General Hospital Morgue in Abuja, a development that has fuelled speculations amongst Nigerians as to the actual cause of the journalist’s death.

In a terse statement issued on Saturday by Emmanuel Anule, CBJ’s president, the association expressed sadness over the sudden death of their colleague, Mr Salem, who was a parliamentary correspondent with the Vanguard newspaper.

“CBJ, therefore, challenges security authorities to ensure that justice is served with an independent autopsy carried on Mr Salem’s corpse currently in an Abuja General Hospital,” the statement reads in part.

Mr Anule condoled with the family of the deceased journalist, the management and staff of Vanguard newspaper, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) over the death.

He said Mr Salem, who covered the proceedings of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, was a founding member of CBJ and a hard-working personality, who believed in equality and equity.

“His tremendous contributions to the nation through quality reportage will forever be remembered.

“Mr Salem was a fair-minded professional. It is painful to learn that he is no more,” the statement added.

While mourning their colleague, CBJ said that it was shocking to hear that the corpse of Mr Salem had been found 29 days after having been allegedly killed by a hit-and-run driver inside Abuja city.

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