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Nigeria30 January 2004

Nine state radio journalists suspended over coverage of opposition demonstration

Reporters Without Borders today called on a public service radio corporation in the state of Ondo, in southwestern Nigeria, to reinstate nine journalists who were suspended indefinitely on 21 January at the governor’s behest because of their coverage of an opposition protest about an increase in the prices of petroleum products.

The Ondo State Radiovision Corporation (OSRC) claimed that the decision to suspend the journalists was taken internally, by the corporation’s management, because they dedicated too much air-time to the protest by the opposition Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

"But according to our information, state governor Olusegun Agagu was behind the suspension of these journalists, because he did not appreciate their giving so much importance to an event organised by an opposition party to protest against an official measure," Reporters Without Borders said.

The nine OSRC employees who have been suspended are news director Seinde Omokoba, deputy news director Sanya Adeleye, and seven other journalists: Taiwo Fagbuyi, Akinwale Oshodi, Franklin Olaleye, Daisi Ajayi, Remi Olagookun, Daiso Ifaleyimu and Bola Akinrunjomu.

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