FOR failing to bring murderers of journalists to justice, Nigeria is ranked 13 out of 14 countries in the 2018 Global Impunity Index released by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
This is the sixth time that Nigeria is featured on the index since 2008 that CPJ began to compile the list.
Somalia tops the list, followed by Syria and Iraq. South Sudan takes the fourth place with Philippines and Afghanistan taking fifth and sixth positions.
Other countries on the list are Mexico, Colombia, Pakistan, Brazil, Russian, Bangladesh, Nigerian and India.
In arriving at the impunity index, CPJ calculates the number of unsolved murders over a 10-year period as a percentage of each country’s population. For this edition, CPJ analysed journalist murders in every nation that took place between September 1, 2008 and August 31, 2018.
According to CPJ, countries with five or more unsolved cases for the period are included.
Within the period of ranking, Nigeria has had five unresolved murders of journalists. The five cases are: Bayo Ohu of The Guardian was killed on September 20, 2009, in Lagos; Enenche Akogwu of Channels TV killed on January 20, 2012 in Kano while covering Boko Haram crisis; Nathan S. Dabak, of The Light Bearer killed on April 24, 2010, in Jos; Sunday Gyang Bwede also The Light Bearer killed on April 24, 2010, in Jo; and Zakariya Isa of Nigeria Television Authority murdered on October 22, 2011.
So far, nobody has been brought to justice by the Nigerian authorities in the murder of these journalists who were killed in connection with their job.
CPJ pointed out that in the past decade, at least 324 journalists have been silenced through murder worldwide, and in 85 per cent of these cases, no perpetrators have been convicted.
The Impunity Index is published annually to mark the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists on November 2. The Day was instituted after the UN General Assembly endorsed it in 2013.
The Resolution calls on UN member states to implement concrete measures to eradicate the culture of impunity against journalists. The date that was chosen commemorates the murder of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali on 2 November 2013.
In a report ahead of International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said more than a thousand journalists were killed between 2006 and 2017.
According to the report, in 2016 and 2017, 182 journalists lost their lives in the line of duty and from January 2018 to today, 86 journalists were killed.
UNESCO pointed out that “local reporters investigating corruption, crime and politics, constitute the overwhelming majority of victims in the profession, 90 per cent in 2017. However, these murders generally receive far less media attention than is given to the death of foreign journalists and correspondents.”