Friday Ogungbemi

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Nigeria’s State Security Service arrested Friday Ogungbemi, the publisher of local magazine Policy and Lawmakers, on November 30, for allegedly defaming a governor and a chief of staff, according to local media reports.

Ogungbemi was charged with defamation under Section 393 of Nigeria’s Penal Code, according to his lawyer J.U, Usman and reports. A prosecutor said that the journalist published an allegedly defamatory article about Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello and his chief of staff, Edward Onoja, in the November 23-December 15 edition of the magazine, News Nigeria reported.

At a news conference about his arrest, Ogungbemi’s wife, Comfort, said that authorities removed copies of the magazine from the journalist’s home in Lokoja, and that her husband had been denied access to his family. She said Ogunbemi has a terminal ailment, but did not specify the condition.

One news outlet reported that Bello ordered Ogungbemi’s arrest. The state governor’s office did not respond to CPJ’s requests for comment.