A BBC team and two others have said they were assaulted on Wednesday at the Emene town residence of the spiritual director of Adoration Ministry, Enugu Rev Fr Ejike Mbaka.
The journalists Chioma Obianinwa and Nnamdi Agbanelo, as well as their driver Ndubuisi Nwafor were led by another Catholic priest Fr Cajethan Obiekezie and his assistant Solomon Orakam to Mbaka’s residence after they unsuccessfully tried to interview him at his ministry.
The journalists said they were in their car when Mbaka got home.
Obianinwa was quoted saying that about 20 men immediately surrounded their car, seized their equipment and threatened to kill them for writing “negative reports about Mbaka”.
“Mbaka asked us to wait until the end of the programme for the interview. The men outside his house said BBC Igbo writes negative things about Mbaka and started beating Nnamdi, Solomon and Ndubuisi. They gave them heavy blows on their heads and all over their body,” she said.
Obianinwa further said Mbaka poked his fingers in her face and called her “satanic”.
She said the cleric’s action fired up the men who assaulted them the more. The BBC reporter said her wig was removed and that Fr Obiekezie was attacked when he tried to intervene.
According to her, the attacks stopped when she screamed that “the world would know that they were killed in Mbaka’s house”.
Obianinwa said Mbaka’s men returned their equipment and trailed them till they left the state to seek medical and police help.
The BBC said it could not reach Mbaka for his reaction as the number on his official Facebook page was switched off.