Journalists Barred from Covering Arraignment of Former Kwara State Governor

Journalist outside the court premises where former governor Abdulfattah Ahmed is being arraigned 

On February 23, 2024, journalists who gathered at the Federal High Court on Fate Road in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, were barred from entering the premises of the court to cover the arraignment of the former governor of the State, Dr. Abdulfattah Ahmed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court Registrar and some policemen prevented the journalists from entering the court premises saying they had orders from above not to allow journalists.

Mr. Dele Oyewale, the EFCC Ilorin Zonal Command spokesman, later convinced the authorities to allow the journalists into the court, although they were thereafter allowed into the court premises, they were not allowed to cover the porceedings.

Speaking with journalists outside the court premises, Mr. Wahab Oba, Chief Press Secretary to Dr. Ahmed, described the arraignment as a secret trial, saying the trial is a “political prosecution.”

“The former governor Dr. Ahmed is supposed to be arraigned by the EFCC so we are here to witness the commencement of the trial. Ordinarily, the court is an open place, our concern is that the trial should be transparent and open.

We cannot understand why the police have denied especially journalists from covering the event,” he said.”