Journalists’ restriction violates fair hearing guarantees – Amnesty International faults Nigerian authorities - Nnamdi Kanu
Amnesty International on Monday faulted Nigerian authorities for placing a restriction on the number of journalists that can report the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB.
Recall that the Department of State Service (DSS) had for the July 26 coverage of the trial of Kanu in the terrorism and treasonable felony charges brought against him by the Federal Government.
Others accredited along with Press for the trial coverage are Premium Times, Daily Independent, Thisday, The Nation, The Herald, while the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) led the broadcast side.
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Other broadcast media are the Channels Television, Africa Independent Television, AIT, and Television Continental, TVC.
The restriction of media houses into the courtroom was part of the security measures put in place by the management of the Federal High Court in Abuja and DSS to control crowds at the court premises.
Reacting to the development, Amnesty International, in a post via its official Twitter account on Monday, said the move by Nigerian authorities violates Nigerian People’ right to know.
Amnesty International tweeted, "Amnesty International condemns Nigerian authorities' restriction of the number of journalists that can report the trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, which started today in Abuja.
"Selecting few journalists to cover the trial is a restriction on access to information and an attempt to deny people the right to know. It also violates all fair hearing guarantees.
"We call on the Nigerian authorities to respect the right to fair hearing and immediately lift the restriction and allow the media unhindered access to the court to do their job. This is yet another bizarre and unacceptable attack on the Nigerian media that must not stand."
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Monday contrary to an order of the Federal High Court.
Beyond Kanu’s absence in court, Justice Nyako drew the attention of the Federal Government lawyer and that of Kanu to the fact that the yearly vacation of the court had commenced.
Although the judge expressed reservation on the failure to bring Kanu to court, the matter was eventually fixed for October 21.
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