Court Orders Nigerian Government to Protect Journalists and Investigate Attacks

In a landmark ruling, the Federal High Court in Abuja on February 16, 2024 has ordered the Nigerian government to take concrete steps to protect journalists and investigate attacks against them.

The Media Rights Agenda (MRA), a non-profit organization advocating for press freedom, filed the lawsuit against the Attorney-General of the Federation. Justice Inyang Ekwo, presiding over the case, recognized journalism as a fundamental right protected by the Nigerian constitution.

The judgment emphasizes the vital role journalists play in informing and educating the public. Justice Ekwo stated, “The society is better informed, educated, enlightened and properly guided where there is effective press.” He further declared any attack on journalists as a violation of their constitutional rights.

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The lawsuit cited the murders of several Nigerian journalists over the past decades and the government’s alleged failure to investigate these crimes effectively or prosecute the perpetrators. 

The court ordered the government to investigate all past attacks, hold those responsible accountable, and implement measures to prevent future violence against journalists.

This judgment represents a significant victory for press freedom advocates in Nigeria. It mandates the government to uphold the safety and rights of journalists, fostering a more secure environment for media professionals to fulfill their crucial role in society.


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