Journalists Killed  |  Nigeria

Godwin Agbroko

ThisDay

December 22, 2006, Nigeria

Agbroko, editorial board chairman of the private daily ThisDay, was found shot to death in his car, according to local and international media reports.

The circumstances of the killing were not immediately clear. Several initial reports quoted a ThisDay statement as saying that Agbroko was slain when he encountered the scene of a robbery. CPJ sources were unable to confirm that description; ThisDay later distanced itself from the original statement, saying it would await the results of a police investigation. A police spokesman contacted by CPJ declined to provide details, citing the pending investigation.

Local journalists told CPJ that Agbroko was killed by a single shot to the neck, and that his valuables were untouched.

Agbroko, 53, was a former editor of Newswatch and The Week magazines, as well as the African Guardian which was shut down in 1994 by the military regime of Sani Abacha. In 1996, still under the Abacha regime, Agbroko spent several months in jail for his work. In 1997, PEN American Center awarded him its prestigious Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. At ThisDay, he was not only board chairman but also a prominent columnist with a weekly column, "This Nation." His last column was a political satire on the presidential primaries of the ruling PDP party.

Motive Unconfirmed: CPJ is investigating to determine whether the death was work-related.


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