(en) Nigeria alert (harassment of newspaper)

buddha (buddha@tao.ca)
Fri, 4 Jul 1997 11:54:55 -0400 (EDT)

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---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Thu, 3 Jul 1997 12:05:21 -0400 (EDT) From: IFEX <ifex@web.net> Subject: Nigeria alert (harassment of newspaper)

IFEX- News from the international freedom of expression community _________________________________________________________________


3 July 1997

Judge sends security agents to harass staff of "P.M. News"

SOURCE: Independent Journalism Centre (IJC), Lagos

(IJC/IFEX) - The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Babatunde Belgore, has sent operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) to harass reporters of the newspaper "P.M. News". The order followed a story published in "P.M. News" on 13 June 1997, concerning an attempt by unidentified persons to burn the judge's home in Ikoyi, Lagos. According to the report, the incident happened on the night of 10 June, two days before the fourth anniversary of the 12 June election. Police investigators had suspected sabotage; however, Justice Belgore denied that there was any fire in his home. In response, he chose to have operatives of the SSS harass reporters working for "P.M. News".

In the past two weeks, SSS agents have twice called at the office of "P.M. News" and asked the paper's management to produce the reporter who wrote the story, as well as the paper's editor. They also claimed that the article was used to embarrass Justice Belgore. The accusation was denied by the directors of "P.M. News", who said that the newspaper was carrying out its public duty and bore no one any malice. They added that "P.M. News" also stated that it would defend the story up to the highest court in the land, saying that the story was not concocted by the reporter, but based on reports filed by police investigators. Police have not denied the authenticity of the "P.M. News" article.

For further information, contact Akin Akingbulu, Tejumola House (1st Floor) 24, Omole Layout, New Isheri Road, P.O. Box 7808, Ojudu, Ikeja - Lagos, Nigeria, tel/fax: +234 1 4924998/4924314, e-mail: ijc@linkserve.com.ng

The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of IJC. In citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit IJC. _________________________________________________________________ DISTRIBUTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION EXCHANGE (IFEX) CLEARING HOUSE 490 Adelaide St.W., suite 205, Toronto (ON) M5V 2T1 CANADA tel: +1 416 703 1638, fax: +1 416 703 7034 e-mail: ifex@web.net, Internet site: http://www.ifex.org/ _________________________________________________________________

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