CPJ condemns trial and conviction of Nigerian journalists for alleged defamation
Written by Joey Shekwonuzhibo on April 17, 2023
The Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit organisation that focuses on promoting press freedom worldwide, has condemned the trial and conviction of two Nigerian journalists for defamation.
In a statement dated 14 April, the CPJ says the two Nigerian journalists: Gidado Shuaib and Alfred Olufemi should never have been charged, let alone convicted, for publishing an investigative report about a factory.
It says their conviction sends a chilling message to the Nigerian press and highlights the urgent need for authorities to reform the country’s laws and ensure journalism is not criminalised.
A magistrate’s court in Ilorin, Kwara State, on 7th February, convicted the journalists for publishing a defamatory article against Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industries Limited.
In the contested publication published by an online platform, News Digest, the article says Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industries Limited, a firm located in Kwara State, allowed its staff members to smoke Indian hemp freely