Journalists facing sedition charge released on bail


June 30, 2006
Original Alert: June 27, 2006
Mike Gbenga Aruleba, African Independent Television (AIT)
Rotimi Durojaiye, Daily Independent

Aruleba, a presenter for the leading Nigerian private broadcaster AIT, and Durojaiye, a senior correspondent for the Daily Independent newspaper, were released June 29 from the custody of the State Security Service (SSS) on bail but will face trial on July 27, according to international media reports.

Both journalists face sedition charges under section 50 of Nigeria’s 1990 criminal code in connection with a story about President Olusegun Obasanjo’s new jet, and could be jailed for up to two years if found guilty. They stand accused of conspiring “to bring into hatred or contempt or excite disaffection against the person of the president or the government of the federation.” AIT’s parent company, Daar Communications, and Independent Newspapers Ltd. were named as co-defendants in the indictment.