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Group drags FG to ECOWAS court, demands N110m for slain journalists

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For failing to research, prosecute and punish the murderers of the 11 journalists killed between 1998 and 2019, the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has dragged the Federal Authorities to the ECOWAS Group Court docket.

Within the copy of the swimsuit which was on Monday made obtainable to DAILY POST by Idowu Adewale, Communications Officer of MRA, the management of the group are asking the courtroom to direct the federal government to pay the households of every of the journalists N10 million as reparation.

Filed on its behalf by Barrister Darlington Onyekwere, together with Chioma Nwaodike, Obioma Okonkwo and Sideeq Rabiu, MRA claimed that regardless of the Nigerian authorities’s obligations underneath varied home, regional and worldwide devices, “it has failed, refused, uncared for and omitted to successfully examine, prosecute and punish the killers of the journalists who have been murdered whereas exercising their basic proper to freedom of expression and of the press or underneath circumstances linked to the train of those rights.”

It additionally mentioned that except the courtroom intervenes, the federal government will neither undertake measures to guard journalists nor trigger any actual, clear and neutral investigations into the killings of journalists in Nigeria whereas the perpetrators of “such dastardly acts won’t be prosecuted and punished.”

The journalists named within the swimsuit are Tunde Oladepo, Bureau Chief of The Guardian newspaper’s Ogun State workplace, killed in Abeokuta on February 26, 1998 by gunmen who entered his house early within the morning and shot him lifeless within the presence of his spouse and two younger youngsters.

Others are Okezie Amauben, writer of Newsservice journal, reportedly arbitrary shot and killed by a police officer in Enugu on September 2, 1998; Fidelis Ikwuebe, a contract journalist for The Guardian newspaper, who was kidnapped and murdered on April 18, 1999 whereas masking violent clashes between the Aguleri and Umuleri communities in Anambra State.

Sam Nimfa-Jan, a journalist with Particulars journal in Jos, Plateau State, who was killed in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, on Could 27, 1999 whereas masking riots between Hausa Fulani and Zangon-Kataf teams and his physique was discovered with arrows protruding from his again; and Mr. Samson Boyi, a photojournalist with the Adamawa State-owned newspaper, The Scope, who was killed by armed males on November 5, 1999 whereas on task to cowl a go to by the then State governor, Mr. Boni Haruna, to the neighbouring Bauchi State.

Others are Bayo Ohu, an assistant information editor with The Guardian newspaper, shot by armed males in his house in Lagos on September 20, 2009; Nathan Dabak, deputy editor, and Sunday Gyang Bwede, reporter, each with the Gentle Bearer, a month-to-month newspaper owned by the Church of Christ in Nigeria, who have been attacked and killed by a mob in Jos on April 24, 2010 amongst others.

Vowing to tread all official paths to hunt for justice for the gruesomely murdered colleagues, the group urged the courtroom to declare

that the killing of the 11 journalists is a “violation of their basic rights to life and freedom of expression and the press as encapsulated within the Structure, the African Constitution, the Common Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR and Article 66(2)(c) of the Revised ECOWAS Treaty to hold out an efficient and neutral investigation, and to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of assaults on journalists in Nigeria”.

Additionally they pleaded with the courtroom to, as a matter of urgency, direct the Federal Authorities to adequately examine, prosecute and punish perpetrators of assaults towards the journalists.

An order directing the federal government to take measures to forestall assaults on journalists and different media practitioners, as steered by them, ought to as properly be pronounced by the courtroom.

Nigeria’s Freedom of Data Act clocks 10 years, MRA calls for compliance

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