"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.