Alleged Contempt: NUJ Wants Prosecution Of Two Journalists In Niger Stopped


BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), on Friday denounced in the strongest terms, the arraignment of the Editor of Niger State owned Newspaper, Newsline, Minna, Muhammad Hadi Pandogari, and its judiciary Reporter, Uthman Yawa Suraja, before the Chief Judge of Niger State, Justice Maria Sanda Zukogi.


The two journalists are being charged for contempt for publishing a story of the rejection of nominees for judges presented by the Niger State Judiciary to the National Judicial Council.

The story was believed not to have gone down well with the Chief Judge of the State, thus the duo were charged to court and the case adjourned was adjourned to April 18, 2018 for the defendants to disclose their source of information.


Accordingly, the NUJ in a statement by its National Secretary, Mr. Shuaibu Usman Leman, called on the Chief Judge to unconditionally drop the contempt charges against them, stressing that the social responsibilities of journalists include amongst others, the advancement of the right to freedom of expression, access to information, freedom of the process, media independence and conflict transformation and peace building.

Leman further said; “It is instructive to note that sources are important roots of information and vital links in the chain of investigation by journalists.

“Accordingly, journalists are not expected to divulge their sources of information or be compelled to do so, except in a situation where crime is involved.

“We condemn a situation like this in which journalism is being threatened by the narrow self-interests of political and corporate bodies. This is an attempt to instil fear in journalists and to endanger media pluralism and democracy.

“It should be noted that the future of democratic pluralism and the defence of people’s rights are dependent on the right of citizens to receive reliable and useful information.”


The NUJ stated that it frowned at all forms of threats, intimidation and harassment of journalists especially a situation like this which seeks to corrupt the process of journalism and manipulate media for propaganda.


The National Secretary of the NUJ therefore called on journalists to remain steadfast, focused and committed to building professional solidarity and to promote ethical standards in journalism and ensure good governance.

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