Human RightsNews

Security Forces Arrest Another Journalist In Nigeria 

Police arrested the journalist was arrested for alleged cyberstalking of a lawmaker representing Taraba South Senatorial District in the National Assembly. 

The Police in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Monday, July 25, arrested Ayodele Samuel, the Publisher of Taraba Truth and head of Rock FM Jalingo, in the country’s northeastern State of Taraba 

According to a personal statement about the development shared on Monday morning, Samuel is being detained at the Police Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja, over a petition by Emmanuel Bwacha,  the lawmaker representing Taraba South Senatorial District in the National Assembly. 

His wife, Mercy Samuel, told HumAngle in an interview on Tuesday that her husband has not returned home as police detained him overnight.

Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Police Force Spokesperson, said he would find out about the arrest when contacted.

Samuel’s arrest came two days after police in Zamfara State, Northwest Nigeria, arrested and detained Umaru Maradun, the correspondent of the Leadership Newspapers, for an undisclosed reason.

Last week the police raided the head office of Peoples Gazette located in the Utako area of the FCT and arrested five staff members. The journalists were released hours after the intervention of Ken Eluma Asogwa, the newspaper’s lawyer. 

Since the signing of the controversial  Cybercrime Act into law in 2015, many journalists have been jailed for distributing information to the public, citing provisions of the law.

In March 2019, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), one of Nigeria’s frontline Civil Society Organisations (CSO), filed a suit before the ECOWAS Court of Justice, challenging the legality and compatibility of Section 24 of the Act. 

The section prescribed punishment ranging from a fine of not less than N2 million or imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both fine and imprisonment, up to a term of not less than ten years or a fine of not less than ₦25 million or both fine and imprisonment; depending on the severity of the offence. On March 28, the court ruled that the section does not conform with Articles 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR); hence, it should be amended.

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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