Anger has continued to trail the remand of the publisher of “Taraba Truth And Facts Tabloid” who doubles as the chief executive officer (CEO) Rock FM in Jalingo, Oloye Samuel Ayodele by a magistrate court in Taraba State.
Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State through the Office of the Attorney-General on Tuesday dragged Ayodele to a magistrate court headed by Garba A. Garba on a two-count charge of defamation and falsehood against the state government.
The case was numbered CMCJ/99/2022.
Commenting on the development, former Nigerian Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago, Ahaji Ardo Jika described the remand of Ayodele as the highest crime against freedom of the press in Nigeria.
He said after following the development that led to the anger of the state government on the publication by the tabloid, the government ought to apologise to the people of Mambila who rejected the sale of Highland Tea which triggered the write up in the newspaper.
Jika said, “The report which the governor is angry at has all facts, they intended selling the Tea company at Mambilla Plateau, it did not go down well with the host community, the state assembly house committee were there of recent, they were almost stoned by the youths, ask those of them that were there will tell you, why are they now suppressing the press?
“Is an absolute disappointment that a government seeks to cripple press freedom or at the very least, freedom of expression in this modern time.
A Jalingo-based businessman, Mr. Ephraim Akpaku who also spoke to LEADERSHIP on the matter said subduing the publisher of the two media organisations could be narrowed down to a suffocation of free speech, freedom of information and ultimately journalism.
Prior to the arraignment, Ayodele had honoured two police invitations over separate petitions from the state government.
Thereafter, he raised the alarm that government agents had tapped his call lines and were tracking his movements.