Sunday, 20 September 2009

The Guardian reporter killed in Lagos

LAGOS – IT was another black Sunday for The Guardian Newspapers as a gang of suspected armed robbers shot dead one of its journalists identified as Bayo Ohu.

Police sources said the bandits stormed the journalist’s No 9, Oyeniyi Street, Odukoya estate residence at the about 7.00 a.m. and forced their way into his apartment. They were said to had demanded for cash and other valuables which the journalist readily obliged.

After collecting the cash he had, they picked his lap-top before releasing some bullets into his stomach. He was said to had slumped and died almost immediately.

However, reports said while the robbery was going on, a neighbour had put a call to the police, but the bandits had successfully made good their escape before the police arrived.

But a team of anti-robbery squad on routine patrol in the area were reported to have given the armed gang a hot chase, forcing them to abandon their get away vehicle and fled.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, confirmed the incident but said it might be a case of assassination. Mba said the police had recovered the vehicle, an unmarked Toyota Camry used for the attack, assuring that a manhunt for the perpetrators had since begun.

In a related development, a team of anti- robbery squad from the Area E Command, Festac town Lagos has arrested two armed robbers in the area.

The suspects identified as Andrew Ilouere and Chinedu Nwokolie were arrested along the Lagos-Badagry expressway moments after they had successfully robbed one Paschal Anyawu.

They were said to have collected an un specified amount of money and other valuables from the victim but ran into the waiting hands of the patrol team.

Reports said when they were searched, a locally madeGuardian Newspapers with some live cartridges were recovered from them.

The police image maker also confirmed the arrest, adding that the suspects would be transferred to the SCID Panti, Yaba, Lagos for further investigation.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Gambia frees jailed journalists

Six Gambian journalists who were jailed for criticising President Yahya Jammeh have been freed after he pardoned them.

A government statement confirmed the decree by Mr Jammeh but gave no reason for his decision.

The six were found guilty of defamation and sedition in August and sentenced to two years in jail.

They had questioned Mr Jammeh's declaration that the government was not responsible for the 2004 death of prominent journalist Deyda Hydara.

Mr Hydara, a vocal critic of strict media laws, was gunned down but nobody has been charged with his murder.

Since then the privately owned newspaper he edited, The Point, has incorporated into its masthead his photo, with the question: "Who killed Deyda Hydara?"

Another prominent journalist Chief Ebrima Manney went missing three years ago.

One of the journalists - Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, vice-president of the Gambia Press Union - confirmed to the AFP news agency that she had been released.

The agency reports that her five male colleagues left another prison on Thursday evening chanting "the truth will always prevail".

President Jammeh came to power through a coup in 1994 and has won three multi-party elections since then.

But amid claims of plots to oust him, dozens of people have been arrested and unlawfully detained, human rights groups say.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

Police Raid News Of The People Office

Two policemen in mufti early this morning stormed the office of the News of The People, a softsell magazine, based in Ojodu, Lagos, to arrest either the publisher or the editor.

Informed sources revealed that the policemen said they were from Police Headquarters, Abuja, and working on the orders of the Inspector-General of Police to arrest either the publisher, the editor or both, over a story on the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NACO), the magazine published recently.

The source added that the policemen claimed the IG said the story is capable of causing security threat in the country.

Meanwhile, Babatunde Oshinaya, the Admin Manager of the magazine, and a reporter, Lukmon Akintola have been arrested and taken to an unknown destination.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

'No-music day' on Nigeria radio

Radio stations in Lagos have largely observed a call by Nigerian artists for a "No-Music Day" to protest at piracy and the non-payment of royalties.

The BBC's Fidelis Mbah in the city says some stations have instead played foreign music.

A musicians' spokesman said that many stations and nightclubs see obtaining music licences as an "alien idea".

Last week, a group of Lagos musicians organised an ongoing hunger strike to protest at rampant piracy.

Our correspondent says pirated CDs of popular albums are readily available on the city's streets, at a fraction of the official price.

Despite the occasional raid on the pirates' production outfits, security agents have failed to tame their activities, he says.

It is the first time Nigerian musicians have united to highlight their plight.


Nigerian Music Industry Coalition spokesman Efe Omorogbe said the failure to pay royalties was equivalent to making and distributing pirated CDs.

There are probably more radio stations in Lagos than in two other African countries put together. Lagos stations do not pay royalties," he told the BBC's Network Africa programme.

He said Nigeria had two royalty collection associations.

Radio stations often say they do not know which one collects for which catalogue.

"The system has failed to structure itself in such a way that people are compelled to pay," he said.

The musicians' indefinite hunger strike will be followed by a protest to the National Assembly, our correspondent says.

Lagos musician Funsho Olatunbosun, who goes by the stage name Xtreme, says piracy has really affected his income.

"All the artists are feeling the pain... we're not relying on the album [sales], we're only relying on shows," he said.


Are you taking part in Nigeria's "No-Music Day"? Do you buy pirated CDs? Let us know what you think about it, by using the postform below to send us your comments.

I felt for Nigerian artists, 95% of albums sold in d streets are pirated, govt are not helping issues they always claim to fight corruption but reverse was d case they like corruption d way fish likes water, everything in Nigeria is pirated even d air we breath, nigeria is one of d richest in oil they've kept on importing oil, what a shame of a country.
Arinze Umeweni, Abuja, Nigeria

Oh please! No power supply, the pipes are dry, schools are on strike, people are getting kidnapped. We've got bigger issues to worry about.
Kunle Oduwobi, Ogun State, Nigeria

It's definitely a perfect idea. Bravo Lagos artists. In Uganda, many artists have gone into oblivion because of that. I am one of them.
Jane Apio, Lira, Uganda

I think the idea here is correct but the implementation remain the issue, no amount of law our national assemble will ever produce without enforcement from the heart of our law enforcement agencies that will ever produce positive change, this change will come from you and me who will join hand together to fight the good fight, all Nigerian artist should come together as a team, identify that one enemy, join hand the pull the trigger and have the enemy kingdom pulled down, this goal is achievable.
Ras Jeluna, PH, Nigeria

It is not only music that is pirated in Nigeria. Books are also pirated, even household goods, toiletries, soaps, etc are pirated - virtually everything in Nigeria is pirated. Do we all go on hunger strike? Though I sympathise with the musicians, but some of them are just happy to hear their music played on radio, thus giving them free publicity. They should learn to live with what Nigeria has turned out to be - THE JUNGLE - where the rule is survival of the fittest. The government is on indefinite leave.
Segiru Sule, Ibadan

A labourer deserves his wages. Why are people reaping where they did not sow? So stand firm and fight for your right.
Victor-Davis Eche, Awka

For decades, imported music has been bootlegged in the country with no protest from the industry .Now the chicken has finally come home to roost. Suck it up guys with your sorry music.
Charlie Igbonoba, Dallas, Tx USA

Corruption in Nigeria from presidency to common Nigerian so piracy continues...
Declan Egbusuo, Nkume Njaba Biafra

Hey, leave the musician they too are pirating foreign albums and is vice-versa, let them shout, piracy continues...James Badboy, Lagos, Nigeria

Yes, the musicians are really suffering as a result of our unregulated check economy. The govt. need to come in to salvage the music industry in one hand and the artist on the other hand.
Mr Esabu Monday, Agadaga Ewohimi, Edo State, Nigeria

its really disastrous because i was in Abuja early this year when the Nigerian major musicians attends comedy events, just to earn a living, while their Cds is everywhere in the market.
Jonas E. ThankGod, Madrid

What is this nonsense about no music day? Why can't the country not get serious in eradicating poverty. Despite the oil from the delta region, the cocoa from the west and midwestern region, the palm oil from the eastern region the groundnuts and the cattle from the northern region, the rubber from the midwestern and southeastern regions of the country plus precious solid minerals in all parts of the country there are no basic amenities for all the population. Even in the commercial city of Lagos 95% of the city do not have pipe borne water flowing through the taps to drink and even flush the toilets. What a shame. A big shame indeed. I learnt that the governor of Lagos state is beautifying the city, when there is no electricity in constant supply and pipe borne water. Get serious Nigeria. The country is being laughed at from serious nations around the world after so many years of self rule. Stop this no music day and get the country off poverty. Mind you observers don't go to the GRA, Victoria Island or Ikoyi. They go to areas that have been neglected.
Dr. Eng. William. Gillbeak, London Unitied Kingdom

I support you with all my life. we have been robbed for too long.
Oyet, Ukatejit, Calabar, Nigeria

This's just a nonsense. How's the music industry beneficial to the Nigerian Federation? After all the parliament and the executives have already failed to provide the dividend of the so-called democracy to their people, so what next do they expect from them?
Tijjani Bukar, Damaturu, Nigeria

It sad that our musicians are not getting compensated for their talents due to nefarious activities of some unscrupulous individuals. Piracy is an up hill battle for the music and movie industries in Nigeria. Due to the current economic downturn in the country, a lot of people find the pirated CDs cheaper than the original ones. For as long as people are buying pirated CDs, the industry will remain vibrant and lucrative. It is had time the national assembly join our artistes in the fight against pirated CDs and payment of royalties to the musicians. There is no doubt that the livelihood of our artistes is in jeopardy. My fellow Nigerians should boycott pirated CDs and help are artistes to grow.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA

I support Nigeria musicians. This idea it will help them 2 develop the activities of music in Nigeria.
Yakubu Peter, Kano, Nigeria