6 Reporters Allegedly Detained for Covering Court Proceedings

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Court Gavel

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory sitting in Maitama detained six judiciary Correspondents for over two hours for covering proceedings without the consent of the court.

While insisting that journalists must get express permission from her before coverage, Justice Chizoba Orji ordered her police orderly to seize a phone belonging to one Ms Wumi Obabori of the Africa Independent Television, AIT and directed that all the pictures and videos she took be deleted.

Subsequently, other Reporters the judge walked out of the courtroom, were those of the Sun Newspaper, Vanguard Newspaper, Raypower Fm, Leadership and a veteran journalist, Charles Ozoemena.

Immediately after the judge stood down a matter and entered her chambers to prepare a ruling, the reporter from AIT attempted to record videos for her story.

However, the Registrar of the court insisted that journalists had no right to cover the court even after the reporter had explained that journalists could take visuals and pictures once the court was not in session.

The registrar immediately summoned a police officer, Mr Gusar Dauda, attached to the judge to arrest the reporter.

Mr Dauda, who claimed that he had the authority of the judge, swiftly locked the main gate to the courtroom, pulled his gun and ordered all the journalists to surrender their phones.

After a scuffle that lasted over one hour, Justice Orji re-entered the courtroom and summoned the AIT reporter to step forward.

In solidarity, other journalists in the courtroom stood up and took turns to identify themselves.

She, thereafter, ordered her orderly to delete all the pictures and videos on the phone, after which, she ordered the court official to unlock the gate and walk all the journalists out of the courtroom.

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All efforts by Radio Nigeria to reach out to the judge through the registrar to refute the allegations proved abortive.

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