Nigeria / Africa

Journalists attacked in Nigeria since 1992

  
People use computers in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 20, 2020. Nigerian journalists recently spoke with CPJ about their concerns over a proposed social media bill. (Reuters/Temilade Adelaja)

‘An attempt to gag the media’: Journalists on Nigeria’s proposed social media bill

At a public hearing on Nigeria’s social media bill held in Abuja last month, the voice of Chris Isiguzo, president of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), rang clearly across the room: “This bill…seeks to pigeonhole Nigerians from freely expressing themselves.” The NUJ is “totally opposed” to it, he said.

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A woman makes a phone call in front of India-owned Airtel on October 10, 2011 in Abuja. A Nigerian NGO on February 25, 2020, sued the Nigerian Communications Commission over warrantless access to ‘call data.’ (AFP/Pius Utomi Ekpei)

Nigeria’s communications regulator sued over warrantless access to ‘call data’

Laws and Rights Awareness Initiative, a Nigerian nongovernmental organization, filed a lawsuit on February 25 against the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) over regulations granting warrantless access to telecom subscribers’ information, including “call data.” The suit claims that accessing the information “violates and will likely further violate” Nigerians’ constitutional right to privacy, according to a copy…

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A woman vendor waits for customers as she uses her phone at the 'Computer Village' in Ikeja district in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on May 31, 2017. Nigeria’s police have used telecom surveillance to lure and arrest journalists. (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

How Nigeria’s police used telecom surveillance to lure and arrest journalists

As reporters for Nigeria’s Premium Times newspaper, Samuel Ogundipe and Azeezat Adedigba told CPJ they spoke often over the phone. They had no idea that their regular conversations about work and their personal lives were creating a record of their friendship.

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Fighting breaks out as security personnel attempt to re-arrest Nigerian activist and journalist Omoyele Sowore at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria, on December 6, 2019. Sowore and other activist-journalists have been jailed in Nigeria and Ethiopia amid a crackdown on free expression. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Nigeria and Ethiopia jail activist-journalists amid crackdown on free expression

The ongoing detentions of Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo and Ethiopian editor Fekadu Mahtemework–the only journalists behind bars for their work in their countries, according to CPJ’s latest prison census–don’t tell the whole story of their governments’ crackdowns on freedom of expression.

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Hamza Idris (left), an editor with the Daily Trust newspaper, sits with colleague Hussaini Garba Mohammed in their office in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, in February 2019. The office was raided in January by the military, who seized 24 computers. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

Nigerian military targeted journalists’ phones, computers with “forensic search” for sources

Hamza Idris, an editor with the Nigerian Daily Trust, was at the newspaper’s central office on January 6 when the military arrived looking for him. Soldiers with AK47s walked between the newsroom desks repeating his name, he told CPJ. It was the second raid on the paper that day; the first hit the bureau based…

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A billboard for Nigeria's incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, who won re-election in February. (CPJ/Jonathan Rozen)

‘You cannot muzzle the media’: Nigerian journalists on press freedom under Buhari

When Nigeria’s incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won re-election this year, he campaigned (as he did in 2015) on an image of good governance and anti-corruption. Billboards in the capital, Abuja, bore the smiling faces of the president–who first led Nigeria as military ruler from 1983-1985–and his vice-president Yemi Osinbajo, and called for voters to let…

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An electoral worker prepares identity card and biometric verification readers, at the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Kano, northern Nigeria, on February 14, 2019. CPJ joined a call for Nigeria to ensure that internet and social media services remain connected during the upcoming elections. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

CPJ joins call for Nigeria to ensure internet and social media services remain connected during elections

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined more than 15 rights organizations and the #KeepItOn Coalition to call for Nigerian authorities to ensure that internet and social media services remain connected during upcoming elections, and safeguard internet speeds of websites and messaging applications. In early February, Nigeria’s federal government denied rumors of plans to shut down…

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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)

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

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.

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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.

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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)

In election year, Nigeria’s press feeling the pressure

“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…

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