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Tinubu Government Charges Two Journalists To Court For Exposing Corruption At Kwara Polytechnic

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THE President Bola Tinubu-led Nigerian government has filed charges against two veteran journalists from The Informant247, an online newspaper, at the Ilorin Division of the Federal High Court.

The journalists, Editor-in-Chief, Salihu Ayatullahi and Managing Director, Adisa-Jaji Azeez, were arraigned in connection with an investigative story published by the news outlet exposing corruption at the Kwara State Polytechnic in Ilorin.

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According to the charge with suit number  FHC/IL/14IC/2024, they were arraigned on two counts under Sections 24 and 27 of the Cybercrime Act.

The first count alleges: “That you, Adisa Jaji Azeez and Salihu Ayatullahi, on or about November 2023 at Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to commit an illegal act, to wit; publishing, uploading, broadcasting, sharing, commenting, remaking, and sending offensive messages titled ‘JUST A PAINT JOB: INSIDE KWARA POLYTECHNIC’S SHODDY PROJECT COMMISSIONING (PART 1)’ and other offensive messages through the online platform ‘Informant247,’ which you knew or ought to have known to be false, intending to annoy, insult, and cause hatred against the Institution of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, and its Rector, Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed, punishable under Section 27 of the Cybercrimes Act, 2015.”

The second count alleges: “That you, Adisa Jaji Azeez and Salihu Ayatullahi, on or about November 2023 at Ilorin, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, committed an illegal act, to wit; publishing, uploading, broadcasting, sharing, commenting, remaking, and sending offensive messages titled ‘JUST A PAINT JOB: INSIDE KWARA POLYTECHNIC’S SHODDY PROJECT COMMISSIONING (PART 1)’ and other offensive messages through the online platform ‘Informant247,’ which you knew or ought to have known to be false, intending to annoy, insult, and cause hatred against the Institution of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, and its Rector, Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed, punishable under Section 24 of the Cybercrimes Act, 2015.”

The Nigerian government has lined up seven witnesses, including staff from the institution, against the defendants.

Earlier in February, on the same publication, the police in Kwara State had charged the duo with conspiracy under Section 27(1)(b), cyberstalking under Section 24(1)(b) of Nigeria’s Cybercrimes Act, and defamation under Section 393 of the Penal Code.

The charges were subsequently amended to criminal conspiracy and defamation.

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