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Nigeria11 October 2006

Government urged to go all-out in investigation into leading journalist’s murder

Reporters Without Borders today called on the Nigerian authorities to redouble their efforts to identify those responsible for the murder of Omololu Falobi, the founder and executive director of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) and former features editor of the privately-owned daily The Punch, who was gunned down on 5 October in Lagos.

“Falobi’s death is a great loss for Nigeria,” the organisation said. “We share the grief of his family and fellow-journalists, for whom he was a model of courage and dedication. It is vital that the Nigerian government should appreciate the scale of this tragedy and should ensure that it does not go unpunished.”

After leaving his office in the Ogba district of Lagos at about 10 p.m. on 5 October, Falobi drove down Abeokuta Avenue until Kollington, in the district of Agbado, where the gunmen who had followed him shot him several times in the forehead as he sat at the wheel of his car. Shortly afterwards, the police received an anonymous call saying a man had been killed.

According to JAAIDS and a number of Nigerian journalists, initial enquiries indicate that the motive for the murder was robbery.

Married and the father of two children, Falobi was one of Nigeria’s best-known journalists and the newspaper he used to edit, The Punch, is the most popular daily. He co-founded the non-governmental organisation JAAIDS in 1997 with the aim of encouraging journalists to make the public more aware of the dangers of AIDS and how to prevent it.

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