Editor and owner imprisoned for defamation

FEBRUARY 5, 2008
Posted February 29, 2008

Ibrahim Souley, L’Enqueteur
Soumana Idrissa Maiga, Director of L’Enqueteur

The editor and managing director of L’Enqueteur were each sentenced to one month in jail and a CFA 40,000 (US$90) fine by a Niamey court on February 5 for defamation charges made by the minister of finance and economy. The prosecutor appealed the same day but the new court date for Editor Ibrahim Souley and Director Soummana Idrissa Maiga has not been set, reported Boubacar Diallo, president of the Niger Association of Independent Press Editors.

Minister of Economy and Finance Lamine Zène sued the editor and managing director of the independent bimonthly L’Enqueteur over a November 19 article titled “How Laouali Bali was awarded a contract of 3.6 billion for a road extension.” The article accused the minister of finance of rewarding a construction contract without following due process.  

On November 29, 2007, police arrested and detained Souley for half a day and again on December 4, when he was kept overnight under police custody. Souley was joined by the founder and manager of L’Enqueteur, Soumana Idrissa Maiga, on the following day. Maiga was charged with complicity.