Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Two Journalists Arraigned in Niger

The publisher of Liberator Newspaper, Kelani Mohammed, and Editor, Usman Saidu, have been remanded in prison custody over allegations of conspiracy and inciting the public against the Secretary to the Niger state Government, Dr. Mohammed Kuta Yahaya.

Mohammed, who is the publisher of the weekly paper and his editor, Saidu, were yesterday charged to a chief Magistrate court in Minna by the Nigerian Police as a result of an article published in the paper on the January 9, 2010.

According to the prosecution officer, the offensive article published by the newspaper accused the SSG of aquiring wealth illegally and purchasing properties around the state.

The dou were charged for conspiracy, defamation of character, inciting public disturbance, giving false information to the public contrary to section 92 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

The police said the report in the paper had been investigated and found out to be false information aimed at inciting the public against the person of the SSG.

Prosecuting lawyer, Mark Igwe, requested that the journalists be remanded in prison custody to prevent them from tampering with ongoing investigation.

Counsel to the accused, Mohammed Ndayako, said the First Investigation Report (FIR) signed by the Niger state Commissioner of Police, Mike Zuokumor, shows that the investigations had been completed and they cannot tamper with investigation.

He therefore pleaded that the publisher and his editor be granted bail.

The presiding judge, Salihu Tanko, however opposed the plea, saying they should be remanded in prison custody while counsel of the accused was asked to apply formally for bail. The case was adjourned to 26th January, 2010.

courtesy Thisday Newspaper