Coronavirus law used to arrest Nigerian journalist over health story

A Nigerian journalist, Chijoke Agwu has been arrested for writing a story on Lassa fever which a state governor claims violates the state’s coronavirus law.

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Saturday afternoon, arrested the Ebonyi State correspondent of The Sun newspapers, on the order of Governor David Umahi, the media outfit has said

The Ebonyi State Police Command, on Saturday afternoon, arrested the Ebonyi State correspondent of The Sun newspapers, on the order of Governor David Umahi, the media outfit has said.

The reporter, according to the newspaper, attended a press conference by the governor at the Government House where he was whisked away by the Chief Security Officer to the governor, and later handed over to the state’s Commissioner of Police, Awosola Awotinde. The reporter is still being held by the police. It was learnt that the governor has instructed that he be charged to court.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the governor, during the press briefing, which was aired live on the state’s broadcast stations, confirmed the arrest. He said the reporter lied in a recent report he wrote on Lassa fever outbreak in the state. Report against Infectious diseases law – Governor

The Governor, during the briefing, said the reporter’s actions contravened the recently passed Ebonyi State Coronavirus and other Dangerous Infectious Diseases And Related Matters Law 005 of 2020.

The law was accented to by the governor on April 2. While signing the law, the governor warned against spread of false information, quoting a part of the law.

“The transmission, or dissemination through a computer system or network or otherwise, of false information regarding COVID-19 within the State and other Dangerous Infectious Diseases and or any circumstances related to or bordering on the outbreak or possible outbreak of COVID-19 within the State is hereby prohibited,” he declared...Read More

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Created: 19/04/2020

Author: Stephanie Adams
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