In the Chapter II section 22 of the 1999 constitution, hence:
The press, radio, television and other agencies of the mass media shall at all times be free to uphold the fundamental objectives contained in this chapter and uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people.
This provision implies that the press shall be a watchdog over the excesses of government, and shall ensure that government delivers it promises to the people. The government on the one hand shall ensure that the press informs the people about its programmes and actions.
This part of our constitution suggests that the press will be a watchdog over the overabundances of government, and will guarantee that administration conveys it vows to the individuals. The administration from her viewpoint will guarantee that the press illuminates the citizens about its projects and activities. Another part of the constitution which is chapter II section 39 subsection (1) of the 1999 constitution states:
Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference.
Subsection (2) states that:
Without prejudice to the generality of subsection I of this section, every person shall be entitled to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions.
We look into the cases of 7 other Nigerian Journalists alongside with Agba Jalingo from 1947 till date; with regards to FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION and charges of Treasons meted against them.
- Chief Anthony Eromosele Enahoro
He came into the limelight in 1944 when he was made editor of the Southern Nigerian Defender at the age of twenty one, becoming the youngest newspaper editor in the history of Nigeria. He was actively involved into the world of Nigeria journalism till he was sentenced to fifteen years’ imprisonment on charges of felony and treason in September 1963 when the leadership of his party, Action Group in 1962; was accused of plotting a coup against the federal government and threatened with detention. Although severally, he has been detained by Federal Government of Nigeria since 1945 as a journalist on different charges.
- Kunle Ajibade
In 1995,Kunle Ajibade was arrest and charged for treason under the administration of Late General Sani Abacha for having his name appeared on a story titled “Not Guilty – Army Panel Clears Coup Suspects.” by the newspaper house “TheNews” where he worked as an editor. He was charged for ‘publishing materials which could obstruct the work of the coup plotters tribunal’ and for ‘misleading the public’. The crime was being “‘as an accessary after the fact of treason” and the punishment was life in prison. It was the first time journalists would be tried (and convicted) with coup plotters in the country.
- George Mbah of Tell Magazine
On May 5, 1995, barely 18 months after he came out of the hospital after surviving a deadly motor accident from one of his trip to interview one of the running mate of 1992 Presidential Election. George was arrested in the Lagos premises of Tell magazine by soldiers from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) alongside with other jounalists.Althouugh there were no definite reason for his arrest except for the coup plot against the then military regime. On August 1995,He bagged 15 years Jail term alongside with Kunle Ajibade
- Chris Anyanwu of The Sunday Magazine
Christiana “Chris” Anyanwu MFR (born 28 October 1951) is a Nigerian journalist, publisher, author, and politician. She was imprisoned from 1995 to 1998 for treason after reporting on a failed coup d’état against the government of Sani Abacha. In May 1995,Anyanwu was arrested following the publication of a story about a failed coup d’état against the government of Sani Abacha, whom she had refused to endorse as president. She was sentence to life imprisonment by the then life military regime; but after much pressure from international community, it was reduced to 15 years. Following the death of Gen SANI Abachi,She was release by the administration of General Abdulsalam Abubakar on health ground.
- Ben Obi of the Weekend Classique was also arrested alongside with George Mbah, Chris Anyanwu, Kunle Ajibade.
6. Omoyele Sowore is a Nigeria journalist and also 2019 presidential candidate for African Action Congress. On Aug 4, 2019 was arrested on the charges of treason for planning revolution protest in Nigeria. Later,he was granted bail today after several denial on the whooping amount of 100millions Naira and other requirements.
- Agba Jalingo is the publisher of Cross River Watch and he is currently facing charges of terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State government. Although he pleaded “Not Guilty” for the charges against him. Until the very time of filing this report, he was denied bail today after attempt by his legal team.There have been several campaigns going on with the regards to unlawful arrest of Mr Agba Jalingo.
Reference :- Wikipedia,Washington Post,Sahara Reporters,ZODML