Nigerian journalists barred from covering deputy governor’s inauguration

Armed security guards on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, prevented journalists from covering the inauguration of Simon Achuba to the post of deputy governor of Nigeria’s central Kogi State, according to news reports and local journalists.

When journalists arrived at the government house in the state capital Lokoja, security guards said the inauguration was not a public event, per the orders of state Governor Yahaya Bello, arming their weapons to emphasize the point, the daily Vanguard reported.

Edward Onoja, Bello’s chief of staff, said on Twitter that no journalist was barred from the inauguration, calling reports to the contrary “false, wicked, [and] malicious.”

Local journalists told CPJ that they have been barred from covering the activities of the governor on several occasions since he assumed office on January 27. Opposition parties have disputed his eligibility for office and that of his deputy, Achuba, according to news reports.