Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has dragged the federal government before the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice in Abuja for failing to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish perpetrators of the murder of 11 journalists killed between 1998 and 2019.
MRA is urging the regional court to direct the federal government to pay the families of each of the slain journalists N10 million as reparation.
The media rights group argued that despite the Nigerian government’s obligations under various domestic, regional and international instruments, it failed, refused, neglected and/or omitted to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish the killers of the journalists who were murdered while exercising their fundamental right to freedom of expression and the press or under circumstances connected to the exercise of these rights.
It also expressed concern that unless the court intervenes, the government will neither adopt measures to protect journalists nor cause any real, transparent and impartial investigations into the killings of journalists in Nigeria while the perpetrators of such dastardly acts will not be prosecuted and punished.
The journalists named in the suit are: Tunde Oladepo, Bureau Chief of The Guardian newspaper’s Ogun State office, killed in Abeokuta on February 26, 1998, by gunmen who entered his home early in the morning and shot him dead in the presence of his wife and two young children.
The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the suit.