LEADERSHIP Newspaper, Detained Journalists Released, Lambast Nigeria Police

By SaharaReporters, New York

LEADERSHIP, the Nigerian newspaper four of whose journalists were detained this week on the orders of President Goodluck Jonathan, has indicated it will challenge the infraction on its rights.

“The police have no right to arrest and illegally detain our journalists – or any other journalist – as they have done; we shall not let this violation go unchallenged,” the management of the company said in a press statement in in which it announced that the journalists have been let go.

It said that two of the journalists, Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzo Ukaibe, were only released conditionally, to report at the police headquarters at 10am every day.

“We wish to restate that these conditions are obnoxious and unacceptable in any democratic society,” the statement stressed.

“Our journalists do not work for the police and have no business reporting to the police headquarters while earning their pay at LEADERSHIP.

“We have it on very good authority that President Jonathan will not be satisfied until the journalists have disclosed their sources and turned in the source document.

“It is ridiculous that Jonathan’s government should be obsessed with having a document, which its handlers said was fictitious in the first place.

“We have no intention of indulging their vexatious desires and insist on our constitutional responsibility to hold the government accountable to the people and the inviolacy of the freedom of information law.”

LEADERSHIP advised that if the police have no time to read the law, they should seek its interpretation elsewhere, pointing out that the two journalists have freedom of expression and freedom of movement, and they belong to the only profession assigned a role in the constitution to hold the three arms of the government accountable to the people.

LEADERSHIP said that because it does not intend to obstruct police investigations in any way, its advice to the presumed agents of the law is to take its staff members to court whenever they find anything incriminating against them.

“As journalists, they have done their job of reporting the news; they have not been paid to assist security agents in their own investigations,” the statement said.

It urged the Nigerian government to understand that the very crude tactic of arresting journalists and invading media houses has no place in the present.

“Even smaller African countries do not engage in those uncivilised acts anymore. And, certainly, no democracy in the world still does it. No doubt, those who arrested our editors are just giving the country a very bad name in the comity of nations.”

It expressed gratitude to the men and women of conscience from all over the world that have shown solidarity in their condemnation of the illegal arrest and detention of LEADERSHIP’s journalists by the Nigeria Police on the orders of President Jonathan.

“Without their intervention our journalists might still have been in Jonathan’s gulag, the statement said.

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My final words!

With those final words or 'skyscraper' of words (as someone described them), I graciously bow out and would henceforth refrain from commenting on topical issues about Nigeria on this forum. I believe people know enough about my stand. I am not for any party, and neither am I against any. I am also not for pull him down (phd), but for CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT! I have always shared good practice, towards Nigeria's development!

The only caveat, that could bring me out of retirement, is any attempt to LAUNDER or RELAUNCH THE TRIO OF IBB, BUHARI AND ATIKU (and their cohorts). On that note, I will say it has been a pleasure! And if I have offended anyone along the way, it is regrettable and not personal! As the Englishman says, that we disagree or have differences (of opinions) does not mean we are enemies. It just simply means that we saw things differently and agreed to disagree!

Journalism in Nigeria!

In developed countries, a Journalist would ask, 'Are you sure about the information you are giving me'? And they won't rely on that information alone, but would do their due diligence checks, and also check with their Editor "whether they have enough" to run the story. They will make every effort to INVESTIGATE and eliminate 'bad-belle'! They will hear the other side out too! All these are done to guard against possible court actions or prosecution!

This is why Journalism, as practised abroad, is ADVANCED! They will not report about Boko Haram from their bedrooms, but would go to the battlefront! Abroad, a Journalist receives a lead or gets a hunch, and begins THEIR OWN SEPARATE INVESTIGATION! Just like the case of Amos Adamu's FIFA corruption saga. But in Nigeria, it is mostly about FICTION, IMAGINATION and HEARSAY! It is only in Nigeria that people read about their Obituary while they are still alive. Zik was 'killed' years before he died, by a Jounalist!

About confidentiality and the DILEMMA of a Journalist!

In fact, let me teach some IGNORANT people about Confidentiality, and tell them a thing or two that they don't know about it. Like 'Freedom of expression or speech', which is not absolute, but qualified, so too is the concept or principle of 'Confidentiality'. It is not ABSOLUTE! Confidentiality is sacrosanct, however, there are many occasions when it can be breached.

The dilemma of a journalist who hides behind the principle of confidentiality, is that when their report is challenged as a LIE, FICTITIOUS, LIBELLOUS or SEDITIOUS, the onus is then on that Journalist to PROVE THE VERACITY OR ACCURACY of their report, or else they could land in jail! Hiding behind, 'my source is confidential', is not an acceptable PROOF or DEFENCE! The onus or the burden of proof REMAINS WITH THE JOURNALIST TO PROVE THEY DID NOT PUBLISH FICTION! And how can they PROVE IT if the conversation was NOT WITNESSED OR RECORDED?

The 'skyscraper' was for THICK people like you!

Thick people need to hear it repeatedly, to 'UNBRAINWASH' them. They need it drummed or drilled into them before they can get the point! Especially the lot of unenlightened people and IGNORAMUSES that comment here. The many 'dumbos' and 'clueless' that are so blinded with hate that truth is far from their mouths. Those with eyes but can't see and with brains but can't reason. I used to think you were better than your 'Agbero' brother and the stark ILLITERATE! You don't know the meaning of FALSEHOOD!

Imagine slaves and supporters of the worst TYRANT Nigeria ever produced complaining about excesses. The BUHARI type of people and HYPOCRITES that went ballistic over an issue that was common place during BUHARI and ABACHA's regimes! BUHARI DETAINED INNOCENT PEOPLE FOR NEARLY TWO YEARS! He DETAINED JOURNALISTS AND SHUT DOWN NEWSPAPER HOUSES FOR PUBLISHING THE TRUTH! Yet some slavishly support him. HYPOCRITES!

IGNORAMUS - Since you want it spelt out!

By 'being taught a lesson', I meant through the Instrument of the ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE AND RULE OF LAW! Lessons can be learnt in court, did you know that? One of the lessons of a conviction is that IT IS A DETERRENT! It dissuades people from repeating the offence. SINCE YOU ARE SO THICK THAT YOU WANT IT SPELT OUT FOR YOU!

I am sure you also missed it, when I wrote that 'they should be brought to book'. Or do you want that SPELT OUT too?

@Deri - There still some good Journalists, but not Nigerians!

Not all Journalists are bad. Many of them ply their trades with decency abroad. Where the 'Gentlemen of the Press' are truly gentlemen, who do not mind being regulated, even in the UK. They recognise there are bad eggs among them, and recognise THEY DO NOT HAVE IMMUNITY!

Like everything operated in Nigeria, it gets twisted and abused! We have almost similar Constitution and Press Laws like the US. Their Press has not condemned the operation of Guantanamo Bay, where people are detained INDEFINITELY! Mr Wikileaks is wanted in the US for publishing classified information! These IGNORAMUSES that don't know, and do not know that they don't know, mouth rubbish about "Freedom of speech". It is not an ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! There is something called 'Public or State policy'.

Even our brand of Democracy is badly operated and twisted, hence the numerous avoidable friction. Give a Nigerian any system and they will bastardise it! Too many IGNORANT PEOPLE on this forum!

The 21st century lawyer ... like the agama lizard

The self-acclaimed 21stC lawyer like the agama lizard is nodding his head up and down giving the police kudos for respecting the rule of the law. Hypocrite !!! Did you not post a comment that the journalists should be taught a lesson? We challenged your so called "lesson" and you spent a whole night building a "skyscraper" of commentaries to defend your warped opinion.

You do not need long essay to defend a truth. If you have to spend sleepless nights to defend an opinion, it is either a half-truth or absolute falsehood. Truth is constant and able to defend itself. I have never heard of police in UK teaching an alleged criminal a lesson in order to confess to a crime or to obtain evidence of it.

But our 21st lawyer insists that people presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court should be taught a lesson. Is that what you were taught in your jankara law school? Again my prayer remains - Lord deliver us from a 21stC strange lawyer.

A Fox News reporter was due

A Fox News reporter was due back in a Colorado courtroom on Wednesday for a hearing on whether she should be compelled to reveal anonymous sources cited in a story. The court battle of sources of a story is in relation to a report of the July 2012 massacre in which 12 people in a suburban Denver movie theater were involved. New York-based journalist, Jana Winter, is fighting a subpoena calling for her to testify about her sources for an article that said the accused theater gunman, James Holmes, sent a notebook to a psychiatrist detailing his plans to commit mass murder.
Ms. Winter said in an affidavit that if she was compelled to divulge the names of the sources, her reputation in the industry would be “irreparably tarnished’’ she wrote.

Delta Queen aka whala ati tundemess

(Alhaji Yakassai revealed recently that, the Boko Haram insurgency began in Yobe State in 2003 and later spread to Borno and Bauchi states.
He added that all the three states were not governed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) then, therefore, could not be associated with the zoning arrangement of the PDP or the ongoing Boko Haram crisis in the North.) so what is up with your brain?

Anioma queen no wonder why IBB refused to create a state 4 u

I now agree with those who often describe journalists as humans-trained to lie their way to heaven! That is why these dooms day reporters forged documents on behalf of Tinubu and his so-called APC team. Sadly all the reporters are from the South East. The zone that ABN which pulled the rug under the feet of Abiola hails from (abi na lie!?) Anoda tribalism? Cause d daily could not find reporters from the zone dat Boko haram, Yerima and Buhari hails from-to do their dirty works for them- so decided to go to d second-hand cloths market in SE, to fish out these junk reporters abi?. Besides Leadership, should tell us who signed the said letter-Jonah or Madam-der are 2 sides to every story-we heard only one side from leadership-d other side nko? Arewa People Club, (APC) should also go and hold their convention as demanded by INEC-or shut up! De-register the leprosy fingers of their parties-instead of relying on pick & pay reporters to plant fake documents in dailies 4 dem.

I now agree with those who

I now agree with those who often describe journalist as humans-trained to lie their way to heaven! That is why these dooms day reporters forged documents on behalf of Tinubu and his so-called APC team. Sadly all the reporters are from the South East. That is d zone that ABN which pulled the rug under the feet of Abiola hails from (abi na lie!?) Anoda tribalism? Cause d daily could not find reporters from the zone dat Boko haram, Yerima and Buhari hails from-to do their dirty works for them- so decided to go to d second hand cloths market in SE to fish out these junk reporters abi?. Besides Leadership, should tell us who signed the said letter-Jonah or Madam-der are 2 sides to every story-we heard ony one side from leadership-d other side nko? Arewa People Club, (APC) should also go and hold their convention as demanded by INEC-or shut up! De-register the leprosy fingers of their parties-instead of relying on pick & pay reporters to plant fake documents in dailies.


When the creek drunken maggot realized that coming back to ASO ROCK is not easy or is impossible he resorted to financing and arming crime groups to cause crisis in Nigeria. This and other evils he is committing with the support of CAN and his ethnic group will never succeed. No amount of money or curfew can make him a ruler in 2015.

The freedom of press doesn't

The freedom of press doesn't encourage publications that is a threat to national security and libelous.
Let truth be told Leadership Newspaper couldn't satisfy inquiry minds about the authenticity of that so called "Presidential Directive".



The Otuoke bandit and his police goons vs people power

It is amazing that in a country whose thieving so-called leaders of the PDP mafia have ruined the country and turned it into a den of kidnappers, armed robbers and a host of other vicious criminals, the police seem to be more concerned with harassing journalists going about their lawful business. But then again, the PDP mafia has so destroyed Nigeria that they are scarred stiff of any bad publicity, and that includes revealing their corrupt, criminal and incompetent ways. As discerning observers have severally mentioned, Jonathan and his rotten regime are digging their own political grave by mindlessly and criminally attacking non-complacent journalists, media houses and perceived political opponents alike. It is in the self-interest of all patriotic Nigerians to work tirelessly toward getting rid of the evil PDP once and for all.

Abubakar tundemash, as friend

Abubakar tundemash, as friend I must advise you to leave Islam immediately. You see since you converted to Islam all your preoccupation is about money. In your private conversations you can be heard whispering: 'da mi l'owo, kawo kuti, bringam for cash'. Abu tundemash, money is not everything. Read all your comments here, you are talking money, money, money. Even the amnesty you are advocating for your cousins and uncles in the North, it is nothing but a scheme to siphon our money from SE SS as a pay off. Your godfathers, Buhari and imam Pastor Tunde Bakare are already soaked in blood money. Come out quickly, you can still be saved. You are still my friend. Your soul must be saved.

Abubakar tundemash, tell your

Abubakar tundemash, tell your Northern half brothers to put their money where their mouth is. With all your preaching about solving all the stupid problems afflicting the north and then living happily thereafter, what you are counting on is my money from SE SS to your half brothers and their idiotic leaders. We are angry about wasting our resources on your hopeless half brothers in the North. This crazy amnesty should not involve any money. The solution to this violence in the North is as simple as ABC. Let all of you stop killing, hating, raping, kidnapping, bank robberies, church bombing and all will be well. We do not need to pay your half brothers anything to stop violence. We do not owe them anything. They are parasites.

Kudos once again to the Police for respecting the RULE OF LAW!

...And to those crying blue murder, the POLICE DID NOT DETAIN THEM INDEFINITELY, DID THEY? Kudos! Even though I'm their greatest critic!

Our Laws require SUSPECTS to be charged to court within 48 hours or released on BAIL. This is the practice in DEVELOPED COUNTRIES and in COUNTRIES THAT RESPECT THE RULE OF LAW. I applaud the Police for respecting the RULE OF LAW! They must, however, not relent until the JOURNALISTS are brought to book. Being A JOURNALIST DOES NOT CONFER SUPERIOR STATUS. Journalists are SUBJECT to the LAW, and not above it!

I wonder how long JOURNALISTS WERE DETAINED FOR DURING BUHARI'S ERA? The excuse that it was a MILITARY ERA does not wash. Being a MILITARY MAN or a SOJA BOY DOES NOT CONFER BRUTALITY OR INHUMANITY ON ANY PERSON! You are BRUTAL and INHUMANE because that is your nature, and not because you are putting on a uniform! A GOOD MAN IS GOOD EVERY TIME, AND NOT OCCASIONALLY!

Our brand of Democracy and IGNORANCE!

RE: “We wish to restate that these conditions are obnoxious and unacceptable in any democratic society,” the statement stressed.

“Our journalists do not work for the police and have no business reporting to the police headquarters while earning their pay at LEADERSHIP.".

Nigeria's brand of democracy is laughable. Imagine the management of Leadership Newspaper (that should be enlightened and know better) talking OUT OF IGNORANCE ABOUT A PRACTICE THAT EXISTS AROUND THE WORLD. BAIL CONDITIONS may sometimes include daily reporting at a Police Station, like it's done in the UK. It is not unusual for immigrants to be asked to report at Police stations in the UK.


Anyhow,lets say the truth

Shameless lawyer, what's next

I guess our lawyer friend is still asleep from his sleepless nights of posting jaundiced rejoinders to sensible commentaries agsinst his comments. This is why I prefer this Deri guy who makes no ptetence on SR about hids paid services to defend GEJ till death do them part. A man spends two sleepless nights on SR defending the indefensible as an accomplished lawyer but will deny doing it for free or hidden agenda. Shame on u.


The powerful Chairman of The PDP Governors Forum, HE Governor Godswill Akpabio ran to the Villa and asked Mr. President to order the release of the four journalists knowing that his ( Akpabio ) former stance had back- fired.

Akpabio didn't expect the reaction that followed the order to arrest by the Presidency, of the journalists of the Leadership Newspapers.

Mr. President had to give the order to release them before he flew out on Monday night to Kenya.

Akpabio want to rule Akwa Ibom State and the Nation at the same time. He boasts of being the Oil Shierk Of Nigeria a title he said James Ibori held last.


Leadership lost their reputation when the chose to publish a document that did not come from the office of the president, but claimed that it did. The only thing really visible is the coat of arms, presidential directive and pd 95, the rest of it has been deliberately blurred out so that the public depend on your translation of the said document.

The rules of investigative journalism says that all matters must be thoroughly investigated and all sides questioned. That was not the case rather chose to sell their conscience to the highest bidder. THEY ARE A DISGRACE.


I can't say it enough; Nigerians are most gullible people ever know on this earth. After publishing the fake presidential directive, the police INVITED the editors of leadership for questioning, after giving their statements they were detained.



The freedom of speech act does not mean that journalists lose sight of the CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICS, which also says that all matters must be fully investigated before publishing which Leadership failed to do.


When a govt hits the wall, it turns first on the Press/Media; then on its own citizens.

Jonah and his handlers haven't seen anything yet. With a very poor report card going into 2015, his ineffectual govt will be ripped open and ripped apart by critics and analysts.

And yes, it would appear Abati was co-opted into their fold to silent his once critical voice.

Brown envelope journalisim

When you promote poor press you get what you print, the days of your printing half truth is coming to a near end.

@ Tundemash why am I not supprised

Your half baked journalist published an imaginary article which they could not substantiate and u are here again celebrating mediocrity as usual ...i know u are an APC typist but atleast show us u have more brains than ur certificate forger Tinubu


@Omoaholo.........Hmmm my dear, abati does not deserve the dr on his name. The guy is failure. I wonder how he sleeps at night. He is just wicked and unreliable. Always lying and falsifying stuff. Well, God will judge them. abati is just a loud mouth and has lost the respect of well meaning nigerians like myself.

Can someone please remind

Can someone please remind Leadership Newspaper that the publication breaches National security and as such is not a matter to be taken lightly with.
There are many discrepancies that even a common man can decipher in the so-called Presidential directive, and this makes well meaning Nigerians wonder if the press are really telling us the truth or are they selling their pen to the highest bidder.
Assumption is the bane of our media outfit today, it was assumed that President GEJ was the person that made the call for the continuous detention of the journalist but the case breaches national security and as such the SSS is solely responsible for the investigation and they don't need the President to teach them how to do their job.
Please let us dissect and analyze a situation properly before we make conclusions.

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