Journalist Regains Freedom After 10-Days In Detention Over Gov Sule-Targeted News

Journalist Regains Freedom After 10-Days In Detention Over Gov Sule-Targeted News
Abdullahi Sule

A freelance reporter, Ibrahim Hamza Mohammed has regained his freedom after spending 10 days at the medium-security custodian center, Lafia following the intervention of the International Press Institute, IPI.

Operatives of the Nasarawa State Police Command had arrested Mohammed over a report published on First News, a Lagos-based online newspaper where he claimed N40 million was stolen from Governor Abdullahi Sule’s bedroom.

The freelance journalist was charged by the Police for alleged violation of the Cybercrime Act and remanded in prison pending the commencement of trial.

10 days however after his remand, a Nasarawa State High Court sitting in Doma granted him bail.

The Nigerian National Committee of IPI confirmed his release from prison in a statement issued on Saturday by its Legal Adviser/Chairman, Advocacy Committee, Tobi Soniyi.

“He will remain on bail till 13 May when the police are expected to withdraw the charges against him and discontinue the trial.

“To secure his release, IPI Nigeria’s delegation led by the President, Musikilu Mojeed, visited Lafia on 6 May, meeting with top officials of the Nasarawa State government, including Governor Sule, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Labaran Shuaibu Magaji and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibrahim Addra.

“The delegation also visited and conferred with the journalist, Mr Mohammed, in prison,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, the management of First News has apologized to Governor Sule over the story, saying it has since found “that the said story lacked any form of truth in it and that the reporter merely concocted the story in his bid to pursue a personal vendetta against the governor”.

“While tendering an unreserved apology to the Nasarawa State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, we wish to assure him that such will not repeat itself ever again,” the newspaper added.

Similarly, the IPI Nigeria has admonished “Nigerian journalists to always uphold the ethics of their profession, desist from publishing false news, and continue to observe a high degree of standard in their practice”.

Nobody supports the publication of fake news or claims that can not be substantiated. However, in every iota of falsehood, there is always a possibility of truth.

It could be possible that the journalist has been frustrated and threatened with state power, however, the case should not end on this mere descension from the state government which seems to look helpless.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be encouraged to invite this helpless journalist and get some information that can assist the agency to shed light on this allegation.

What has just happened between Nasarawa State Government and the helpless journalist is nothing but an attempt to shut the journalists from doing their jobs except the accused author has been recalcitrant in attacking the person of Governor Abdullahi Sule.

Besides, the caliber of Governor Sule is not among those who would have N40 million cash at home and would be considered strange or scandalous. He is a sitting Governor and would surely need cash for day-to-day activities regarding the porousness of the office he occupies.

Above all, if a state Governor cannot be sued in court for their immunity, do they have also to sue others while their immunity clause lasts?

Category: World-News
Tag: Journalist Regains Freedom After 10 Days In Detention Over Gov SuleTargeted News
Written by Author (author)
Published 5/11/2024 10:06:10 PM

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