Nigerian journalists charged for criticizing polio campaign granted bail

The two reporters arraigned before a Senior Magistrate Court in Gyadi Gyadi, Kano were granted bail by the judge, Ibrahim Bello, on Thursday.

The journalists, Yakubu Fagge and Mubarak Sani, were arraigned alongside a cleric and former Director General of Kano State Censors board, Rabo lawal.

According to New York based Committee to protect Journalists, they are charged with “criminal conspiracy, abetment, defamation of character, obstruction of a public officer carrying out his duty, intentional insult, and incitement to violence”.

Their arraignment followed a radio programme aired on Wazobia FM on February 6in which Mr. Fagge, as host of the programme, accused government officials of abusing their power by allegedly forcing the public into immunizing their children against polio.

They first appeared before Mr. Bello on Tuesday. After they pleaded not guilty to the charges against them and submitted an application for bail; the judge ordered that they be held under police custody and fixed Thursday to consider their bail application.

In his ruling on the bail application, Mr. Bello granted the accused bail with two sureties each at the sum of one N100, 000.

He also said the sureties must be community leaders and or Heads of Department of government organizations.

He adjourned the case till March 13 for continuation of hearing.


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