Names Of Only 10 Journalists Approved For Nnamdi Kanu's Trial Revealed As Nigerian Government Gags Press

 More details have emerged of the media houses and journalists accredited for the coverage of the trial of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu slated for Monday, July 26, 2021.

A document seen by SaharaReporters which lists the 10 media organisations and 10 journalists accredited for the coverage of the trial, was signed by Catherine Oby Christopher, Chief Information Officer, Federal High Court of Nigeria, and dated July 23, 2021. 

Those accredited include Daily Independent (Paschal Njoku), Premium Times (Ameh Ejekwonyilo), Thisday (Alex Enumah), The Nation (Eric Ikhilae), The Herald (Kayode Lawal), and the News Agency of Nigeria (Taiye Agbaje).

For broadcast media, listed are the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA-Vera Chiwuba), Channels Television (Ella Daniels), Africa Independent Television (Wunmi Obabori), and TVC (Tina Iria).

Nigerian Government through the Department of State Services (DSS) and Federal High Court, Abuja accredited the 10 media organisations for the coverage of the trial.

The memo titled 'Media Accreditation For Nnamdi Kanu's Trial' says "Find below the journalists that will be allowed entrance to the court's premises for the above-mentioned trial."

The four broadcasting stations are allowed one cameraman each. 

Kanu, who was re-arrested in controversial circumstances in faraway Kenya, will be facing charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, illegal possession of arms, among others, before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Also, the hearing of enforcement of fundamental rights suit filed by the five activists arrested at Dunamis International Gospel Centre (Glory Dome) by DSS operatives on July 4 will come up before Justice Obiora Egwuatu.

The trial judge had ordered the DSS to produce the activists in court on July 26th while ruling on the ex parte motion filed by their lawyer, Pelumi Olajengbesi.

DSS operatives on Sunday blocked all the roads leading to the court and prevented human and vehicular movements in the area.

Meanwhile, human rights activist Omoyele Sowore has described the action of DSS to censor and limit the media coverage of the trial as an affront and crime on the press freedom, adding that the DSS has no right to accredit journalists covering the trial.

He stated this in a post on his Twitter handle and Facebook page: "DSS has no right to accredit journalists covering #FreeDunamis5 #FreeNnamdiKanuNow. Lawless DSS has 'accredited' only 10 media houses to cover @MaziNnamdiKanu’s trial, it will be a shame and a crime against #freepress for any independent news source to apply to DSS for accreditation. This is highly condemnable and embarrassing! #BuhariMustGo #RevolutionNow. 

"These media houses must withdraw from this sabotage of free press. The DSS has no right to engage in the accreditation of media houses to cover a public trial in a Federal High Court in Nigeria. The judiciary should be ashamed that its independence has been compromised completely by the executive."

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