IPI Nigeria demands enforcement of judgement ordering FG to prosecute killers of Journalists


The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute has asked the federal government of Nigeria to immediately enforce a Federal High Court judgement ordering the restart of investigations into unresolved cases of extra-judicial killing of journalists in the country.

“The Inspector General of Police should immediately constitute a crack team of investigators to reopen these cases all of which became cold due to lack of commitment on the part of successive governments to investigate and prosecute those behind these killings,” IPI Nigeria said in a statement by its President, Musikilu Mojeed and Legal Adviser, Tobi Soniyi.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation should work with the police on a case-by-case review of these journalists.

“IPI NIGERIA notes those who molest journalists often go unpunished. Consequently, journalists remain vulnerable in Nigeria.

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“We call on the government to protect them in accordance with its obligation under the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights. All past cases of journalists’ murder, brutalisation and harassments should be thoroughly investigated and punished.”

In the case filed by Media Rights Agenda, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a federal high court, Abuja ordered the federal government to reopen the investigation into the murder of Dele Giwa, a journalist and to prosecute those responsible for his death.

Giwa, the founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine, was killed by a parcel bomb at his Ikeja, Lagos residence on October 19, 1986.

The court judgment also covered other journalists whose deaths remain unsolved and no one was held accountable. They are Bolade Fasisi of the National Association of Women Journalists, killed on March 31, 1998; Edward Olalekan of Daily Times, murdered on June 1, 1999; Omololu Falobi of The Punch, October 5, 2006; Godwin Agbroko of Thisday, December 22, 1999; Abayomi Ogundeji of Thisday, August 17, 2008; and Edo Sule-Ugbagwu of The Nation, April 24, 2010.

The judge also ordered the restart of investigations into unresolved cases of extra-judicial killing of other journalists in the country.

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