Nigerian Government Re-files Criminal Charges Against Leadership Newspaper Journalists


On June 24, 2013, the Nigerian government re-filed criminal charges of alleged forgery against two journalists, Mr. Tony Amokeodo, the Group News Editor; and Mr. Chibuzo Ukaibe, a political correspondent with Leadership newspapers.

Government’s lead lawyer, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), re-filed the charges having earlier on June 21, 2013 filed an ex-parte application seeking leave of the court to prefer the 11-count charge of alleged forgery against the journalists. Justice U. A. Musale of the Abuja High Court in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory granted leave to Government to file the charges

A court bailiff, accompanied by lawyers from Chief Awomolo’s law chambers, went to the Leadership newspaper office on June 24, 2013 at about 2:45pm to serve the new charge on the journalists.

The alleged forgery charges brought against the journalists was over a story in the Leadership newspaper titled “Outrage Trail Presidential Directive on Tinubu, APC”, which was published on April 3, 2013  and a full copy of the presidential directive, published on April 4 and captioned “Bromide of the Presidential Directive”.

The charges were previously filed before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja who struck out the case on May 2, 2013 following the withdrawal of the six-count charge by the government’s lawyer, Chief Awomolo.

Justice Musale however, granted them bail after they pleaded not guilty. He admitted them to bail in the sum of N500,000 (about US$3,226) each with one surety each who must be a reasonable person.

The court thereafter adjourned the case to July 16, 2013, for hearing.