Journalists Barred from Covering Murder Trial

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Chris Isiguzo
NUJ President

On March 2, 2022 journalists who went to cover the trial of suspects in the murder of a five-year-old schoolgirl, Miss Hanifah Abubakar, were prevented from entering the Kano State High Court 6 where the trial was taking place.

Reporters arrived at the court premises as early as 9 am to cover the hearing of the criminal case against the three suspects but were barred from entering the court premises by security operatives who barricaded all entrances to the courtroom.

Although the court did not give any order to stop journalists from covering the hearing before Justice Usman Na’aba, a source told reporters that the restriction was occasioned by a prosecution witness who pleaded to give account in “secret”.

Barr. Musa Abdullahi Lawan, the Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, said the restriction was to enable operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) to testify before the court. He also directed reporters to vacate the corridor of the court premises until after the first session (security testimony), and promised to lift the restriction after the witness testified.