Nigerian Senate Bars Journalists from Covering its Proceedings

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Sen. Godswill Akpabio, President of the Nigerian Senate,

On May 7, 2024, the President of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, barred more than 10 television stations and photojournalists from covering proceedings during the plenary session of the upper legislative chamber of the National Assembly without giving reasons.

Reports have it that one of the security operatives at the entrance of the Senate chamber told journalists that Senator Akpabio instructed the security unit to restrict and prune down the number of media houses covering Senate proceedings. Among the media outlets banned by the Senate are Galaxy TV, Ben TV, MITV, ITV Abuja, PromptNews, ONTV, and Liberty.

A document signed by the Clerk of Senate, Chinedu Akubueze, and pasted at the entrance to the chamber listed only seven media houses that would now cover proceedings. They include the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Channels Television, African Independent Television (AIT), TVC, Arise News, Newage, and ADBN.

The leadership of the National Assembly Press Corps had met with the Clerk of the Senate on May 1 to resolve concerns about covering the Senate’s proceedings in the chamber and dialogue on the matter was ongoing when this happened.