Court grants bail to journalists remanded over petition by governor’s spokesman

A Magistrate Court in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, on Wednesday granted bail to two journalists, Sobi FM’s Dare Akogun and Fresh Insight TV’s Abdulrasheed Akogun.

Head of Media and Current Affairs at Sobi FM Adebayo Abubakar confirmed this to The ICIR on Wednesday.

“They have been granted bail. Their counsels are trying to perfect the bail conditions,” Abubakar said.

He, however, noted that journalists were not allowed into the courtroom during proceedings.

The journalists, who are brothers, were remanded at the Oke-Kura correctional facility on Friday following a petition by Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Kwara State Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

According to Ajakaye, Abdulrasheed posted a comment on a WhatsApp group, accusing him of corruption and utilising public funds to the tune of N15 million naira to prosecute a Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) election in the state.

He, therefore, filed a petition to the state’s Commissioner of Police (CP), Tuesday Assayomo, who invited both brothers.

The CP ordered the brothers to tender a written apology to the CPS based on the petition or risk prosecution in court.



    The brothers refused to tender the apology and chose to appear in court instead, which led to their detention by the CP.

    Before the court ordered their remand on Friday, journalists in Kwara embarked on a peaceful protest at the state police command headquarters over the detention of the two journalists.

    However, The ICIR learnt that the police in Ilorin clamped down on the protesting journalists, beating and detaining some of them.

    Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), under aegis of the Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF), had condemned the treatment of journalists in the state.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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