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Journalist hastily imprisoned for alleged false report about El-Rufai’s administration released on bail

By Garba Ahmed, Kaduna on 05/05/2016

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Kaduna journalist Jacob Onjewu Dickson was this afternoon granted bail for the sum of N100,000 by a Kaduna Chief Magistrate.

Mr Dickson, 36, was charged by the police for alleged “false personation and inciting disaffection to government,” as contained in their First Information Report.

He is to appear in court on the May 12, 2016 for hearing into the matter. Reports said he was arrested and detained on the orders of the Kaduna State Government headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai.

Mr Dickson, while speaking with journalists shortly after his release, thanked Nigerians and his colleagues for their solidarity.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) had earlier condemned the arrest of her member, especially as the incident is coming on the heels of President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to stop the ill-treatment of journalists.

A communique issued on Thursday by Comrade Garba Muhammad, Chairman of the Kaduna State Council of the NUJ, based on its extra-ordinary congress held on Wednesday evening in Kaduna, said the council celebrated its own World Press Freedom Day in grief as a colleague was in prison custody on the orders of the State Government, while another colleague died.

Comrade Muhammad called on the government to in the future report any colleague to the union for disciplinary action, before involving security operatives.

He, however, cautioned members to avoid issues that can set the country and the state ablaze.

The communique said: “We must remember that, as journalists, we have a responsibility to promote peace and unity in the society. The Council resolved to regulate operation of online media platforms to guard against unethical practices.

“Congress also condemned action of members who disobeyed its directive that all activities, including government functions be suspended, pending the release of Mr. Jacob Dickson.

“The Council though does not support lack of respect for ethics of journalism.

“We however state categorically that, the State Government went too far by sending our colleague straight to prison without proper arraignment. His arrest and subsequent detention in the prison should have been the last resort after NUJ must have failed in addressing the matter properly.

“The Congress also observed that the relationship between the State Government and the union has never been this sour in the history of Kaduna State.

“A situation where few journalists are selected to cover government functions is unhealthy, as many of our colleagues often miss important stories emanating from government quarters.”

Cautioning journalists in the state, the communiqué advised them to avoid issues that can set the country and the state ablaze. It said: “We must remember that, as journalists, we have a responsibility to promote peace and unity in the society.

“The Council resolved to regulate operation of online media platforms to guard against unethical practices.

“It condemned action of members who disobeyed its directive that all activities, including government functions be suspended, pending the release of Mr. Jacob Dickson.

“It however commended the efforts of colleagues who played vital roles towards the council’s move to secure his release.”

•Photo shows Kaduna NUJ Chairman, Comrade Garba Muhammad.

Source News Express

Posted 05/05/2016 8:21:07 PM

 

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