Journalist Released from Prison after IPI Intervention

A Nigerian journalist, Ibraheem Hamza Mohammed, was on Friday released from prison after the Nigerian National Committee of the International Press Institute (IPI Nigeria) intervened in his case.

The Nasarawa State Command of the Nigeria Police arrested Mohammed on May 1, 2024 after he was accused of falsely publishing a report alleging that N40 million was stolen from Governor Abdullahi Sule’s bedroom. The article was published on February 22, 2024 on First News, a Lagos-based online newspaper.
The police then charged him with violation of the Cybercrime Act and secured an order for his remand at the Medium Security Custodian Centre in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, pending the commencement of trial.

However, the journalist was released Friday after a Nasarawa High Court sitting in Doma granted him bail. He spent 10 days in jail.
He will remain on bail till May 13, when the police are expected to withdraw the charges against him and discontinue the trial.
To secure his release, IPI Nigeria’s delegation led by the President, Musikilu Mojeed, visited Lafia on May 6, and held meeting with top officials of the Nasarawa State government, including Governor Sule; Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Labaran Magaji and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibrahim Addra.

The delegation also visited and conferred with the journalist, Mohammed, in prison.
Meanwhile, the management of FirstNews has apologised to Governor Sule over the story, saying it has since found “that the said story lacked any form of truth in it and that the reporter merely concocted the story in his bid to pursue a personal vendetta against the governor.”
 “While tendering an unreserved apology to the Nasarawa State Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, we wish to assure him that such will not repeat itself ever again,” the newspaper added.

IPI Nigeria is hereby admonishing Nigerian journalists to always uphold the ethics of their profession, desist from publishing false news, and continue to observe a high degree of standard in their practice.

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