Nigeria: journalist charged over reporting on local businessman

  • 04 Jul 2024

NUJ condemns charges that could see Precious Eze Chukunonso imprisoned for up to two years if convicted.

The National Union of Journalists joins the International Federation of Journalists in calling for charges against Precious Eze Chukunonso, publisher of online newspaper News Platform to be dropped.

Journalist Chukunonso was arrested on 27 May in Gbagada, Lagos, following a complaint by businessman Prince Chris Odinaka Igwe over publication of two articles about him. The articles alleged Igwe had been involved in a confrontation with a neighbour where gun shots were fired.

The complaint by Igwe, head of petroleum distribution firm Mainland Oil and Gas Limited, led police to hold the journalist in custody for almost three weeks and charge him with “conduct likely to cause breach of peace, provoking a breach of the peace by offensive publication and conspiracy to commit felony.” He faces up to two years in prison if found guilty.  

The NUJ urges Nigerian authorities to drop the charges against Chukunonso and joins the IFJ in condemning police actions, repressing media freedom in Nigeria.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

“The systematic pattern of arrest of journalists in Nigeria over the past few months is a calculated attempt to intimidate and subdue journalists in a perpetual state of fear in order to silence them and to stop them from reporting. Journalists must be allowed to do their jobs without any form of intimidation, fear or favour.”

Return to listing