Nigerian military bars journalists from covering court-martial

Nigerian military authorities on Monday May 9, 2016 barred journalists from covering the trial of Patrick Falola and Ibrahim Sani, both army major-generals, who are being tried by a court-martial in the capital Abuja, according to news reports.

Journalists were allowed to cover the opening session of the court-martial on May 5, only to be prevented from attending on May 9 when the charges against both generals were to be read.

Colonel Ali Yusuf, an army spokesman, told journalists they were not allowed to cover the court proceedings because of security reasons, and to avoid jeopardizing the army’s operations, according to news reports. Yusuf did not elaborate further, but said journalists would be invited when the military court returns a verdict, the reports said.

In October 2014, military authorities similarly invited journalists to cover the opening session of a court-martial trying 59 soldiers on mutiny charges, but barred the journalists from covering the court proceedings, citing national security concerns, according to news reports.