International Press Institute demands enforcement of judgement to prosecute killers of journalists

The Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute has asked the Nigerian government 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.

Penpushing reports that this request was contained in a statement jointly signed by President International Institute (IPI), Nigeria Musikilu Mojeed and Tobi Soniyi (Legal Adviser/Chair, Advocacy Committee, IPI Nigeria)

‘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’, the letter emphasized

“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’, it added.

‘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.”

Penpushing further reports that it is recalled that in the case filed by Media Rights Agenda, Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court, Abuja ordered the Nigerian government to reopen the investigation into the murder of Dele Giwa, a journalist and to prosecute those responsible for his death.

The court judgment also covered other journalists whose deaths remain unsolved and no one was held accountable and they include 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.

Penpushing also reports that the judge in the same vein ordered the restart of investigations into unresolved cases of extra-judicial killing of other journalists in the country.

Meanwhile, Dele Giwa, the founding editor-in-chief of Newswatch Magazine, was killed by a parcel bomb at his Ikeja, Lagos residence on October 19, 1986 during the regime of the military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida

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