13 February 2013

Nigeria: Court Remands Two Journalists in Kano

Photo: Gates Foundation
Polio vaccination in Nigeria.

Two Kano-based journalists and one other person were Tuesday remanded in police custody on the orders of a Magistrates' Court in Gyadi-Gadi, Kano, presided over by Mr. Ibrahim Bello

The accused were charged before the court on a seven-count charge bordering on criminal conspiracy, inciting disturbance, intentional insult, defamation of character, obstruction of public servants in the discharge of their duties, among others.

The accused persons are Yakubu Musa Fagge and Mubarak Muhammad Sani who are from Wazobia FM and one Abubakar Rabo Abdulkarim.

The defendants pleaded not guilty to all the charges, while their counsel, Musa Adamu Aliyu, applied for their bail, citing relevant sections of the constitution and other cases.

While the prosecutor, Sergeant Sadiq Na-Abba, pleaded that the defendants should not be granted bail the because police were still investigating the case, the defence counsel assured the court that the defendants when granted bail would not interfere with police investigation.

The Chief Magistrate Bello ordered the police to continue with their detention for the next two days, pending his ruling on the accused persons' bail applications.

He ordered that the accused persons should be given unconditional access to their families, their lawyers and all other constitutional guarantees.

The accused persons had last week aired a programme locally referred to 'Sandar Girma' (mixed-grilled programme) on Wazobia FM, Kano where the producer of the programme, Yakubu Musa Fagge, gave an account of how their reporter was mishandled by the boys of one traditional title holder and the interim management officer of one local government in the state.

The said the event took place in Abubakar Rabo's residence, who rejected polio vaccinators from vaccinating his children.

The dramatic encounter was aired by Yakubu Musa, where he warned that he would start disclosing what polio was all about to the public.

THISDAY in Kano recalled that two days after the programme, nine female polio vaccinators were killed by unknown gunmen

This led to the arrest of the three journalists including the Head of Programmes of the Wazobia FM, Malam Muhammad Sulaiman Gama, But Gama was released a day after their arrest.

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