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Malami Welcomes CPJ Report, Says Nigeria Vows To End Impunity For Crimes Against Journalists

The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria vowed to end impunity for crimes against members of the public including the journalists.

This was made known in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu,
Special Assistant on Media to the AGF, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Sunday, 1st November, 2020.

In his message commemorating the United Nation proclaimed November 2nd as International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, the Minister said it is gratifying to note that Nigeria is no longer among the countries with impunity for crimes against journalists.

The 2020 global index for impunity for crimes against journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), released on Wednesday 28th
day of October 2020 indicated that Nigeria is the only country that came off the index from 2019.

Malami described the achievement as a result of deliberate and committed efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government through the implementation of many reforms in the Nigerian justice sector to include increased access to justice, speedy justice dispensation, decongestion of Nigeria’s correctional centers and judicious implementation of the Criminal Justice Act and Justice Sector reforms.

He expressed optimism that with solid foundation of reformed justice sector to be bequeathed by Buhari Administration, never again will Nigeria feature among nations where journalists, citizens and inhabitants of the country will suffer from any form of impunity in the future.

The Minister said the recent developments in the Nigeria’s international arbitration against P&ID and some international oil companies are but indicators of resolute determination of the Federal
Government to bring to an end the era of impunity and lack of adherence to due diligence and rule of law in governmental operations.

He said that it could be recalled that in the last decade, before the advent of the present administration, Nigeria ranked 13th across the globe and used to be among top three African countries with impunity for crimes against journalists only after Somalia and South Sudan.

While expressing commitment to maintain the tempo, Malami said there
was no room for complacency in ensuring serene online and offline atmosphere of journalism practice in the country.

He noted that with the development of information and communication
technology and as the internet became a veritable tool for mass mediated communication, the Minister said government is working to ensure safety of journalists against rhetorical aggression, trolling,
incursion of privacy, phissing and cyber attacks.

He stated further that with the implementation of cybercrime Act 2015 the incidences of cyber
related crimes would be minimized.

He urged journalists to adhere strictly to the ethical provisions of their profession and refrain from misinformation and fake news.

Modupe Ogundoro

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