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Blog   |   Nigeria

How Nigeria's cybercrime law is being used to try to muzzle the press

Two brothers use gaming apps on their smartphones in Lagos. Nigeria's new cybercrimes act has been used against at least five critical bloggers. (AFP/Stefan Heunis)

Since Nigeria's cybercrime act was voted into law in May 2015 authorities have used the accusation of cyber stalking to harass and press charges against at least five bloggers who criticized politicians and businessmen online and through social media.

Blog   |   Nigeria

CPJ joins call for Nigeria to drop anti-social media legislation

The Committee to Protect Journalists alongside 19 Nigerian, African and international organisations today signed an open letter addressed to the upper chamber of Nigeria's parliament calling for the rejection of a bill which would undermine press freedom, stifle public opinion, and criminalize freedom of expression in Nigeria.

December 16, 2015 2:24 PM ET


Blog   |   Nigeria

In election year, Nigeria's press feeling the pressure

A schoolgirl walks past campaign posters for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in Lagos. Journalists covering the election campaign say they are being attacked. (Reuters/ Akintunde Akinleye)

"Nobody is safe. Not the voter, not the journalist, not anybody!" The fears of Femi Adesina, president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, is echoed by stakeholders and observers of Nigeria's general election. Amid the tension in the run up to presidential and federal parliamentary elections on March 28, and governor and state parliamentary elections on April 11, journalists can be easy targets.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigeria regulator gives broadcasters 48-hour directive

Journalists surround a politician at the start of the Osun state governorship election in southwest Nigeria on August 9, 2014. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

Requirements from Nigeria's broadcast regulator that radio and television stations nationwide should give notice of any live transmission of political programs has angered some journalists and raised questions about implementation.

August 12, 2014 1:33 PM ET

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigeria targets independent newspapers

Nigerian authorities have been waging widespread attacks on nearly a dozen independent newspapers under the cover of fighting terrorism. By last weekend, no fewer than 10 newspapers had their operations nationwide disrupted, leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of newspaper sales.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Journalists targeted by both sides in Nigeria's war on terror

The struggle between Nigerian authorities and militant extremist group Boko Haram was recently thrust into the global spotlight with the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls, but journalists in the country have been squeezed between the two sides for years.

Blog   |   Internet, Nigeria

Attacks on critical Nigerian website highlight vulnerability

For two months, editors were blocked from posting Premium Times' links on the outlet's Facebook page. (Facebook)

Turkey's prime minister made headlines last week by threatening to block Facebook in the country, but as recent events in Nigeria show, a more discreet intervention can be effective in disrupting the free flow of information. 

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigeria's impunity ranking: The facts don't lie

Nigeria's press freedom record is on the decline.

For the first time since 2008, when CPJ began publishing its annual Impunity Index, Nigeria has made the list of the "worst nations in the world for deadly, unpunished violence against the press."

Blog   |   Nigeria

Nigerian journalist wins landmark court victory

(Desmond Utomwen)

"If a journalist can't fight for his own right, then he has no responsibility to fight for others," Desmond Utomwen, a senior correspondent with TheNews Magazine/PM News, told me after a High Court judge on October 4 awarded him 100 million naira (US$637,000) in special damages from the Nigeria Police Force and Guarantee Trust Bank Plc.

Utomwen's victory represents the largest award for any journalist in Nigeria's 52-year history as an independent nation and sets a clear precedent for the country's beleaguered press.

Blog   |   Nigeria

Signs of justice for battered Nigerian photojournalist

Benedict Uwalaka after his attack. (Premium Times)

Hardly ever do Nigerian journalists get justice for assaults suffered in the line of duty. But things may be set to change with the case of Benedict Uwalaka, a photojournalist with Leadership Newspapers, who on August 9 was brutally assaulted at a government hospital in Lagos State. The first step toward justice came 22 days later, when Bayo Ogunsola, one of the assailants identified by Uwalaka, was arraigned in court on August 31 on a two-count charge of assault and destruction of the journalist's camera. Ogunsola pleaded not guilty on both counts.

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