The publisher of a Kaduna based weekly taken to hospital

Reporters Without Borders is deeply worried by the failing health of journalist Tukur Mamu who was hospitalized on 5 September 2013 after fainting during a preliminary hearing at an Abuja court. Mamu is being charged with defamation of the FTC Minister as well as attempted bribery.

According to local media, the journalist suffers from a health condition that requires him to take a prescribed daily medication. Mamu was deprived of his medication during his over two days of detention. His next hearing is postponed until 9 September, his state of health permitting.

05.09.2013 - Newspaper publisher arrested and held by the police

Reporters Without Borders is very disturbed by journalist Tukur Mamu’s arrest yesterday at his office in the northern city of Kaduna by plain-clothes police, who initially took him to the city’s Criminal Investigation Department (CDI) headquarters. Mamu, who publishes the Kaduna-based weekly, Desert Herald, was then reportedly taken to the federal capital, Abuja, where he is being held at the CDI in Garki.

“Mamu’s arrest and initial transfer to an unknown location constitutes a grave violation of freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said. “. We call for this journalist’s immediate release and we urge the authorities to make public the charges against him.”

At the time of his arrest, Mamu was about to publish a book critical of the government of the Federal Capital Territory (in the central region of the country), under the ministry of Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed entitled “FCT Administration: the rot within,” and had been the target of several intimidation attempts in recent months.

According to the information obtained by Reporters Without Borders, Mamu was arrested on a warrant issued by an Abuja judge at the behest of FCT minister.

The journalist had also been arrested in 2009 under similar circumstances for writing articles deemed to “harm the government’s interests". Read the Reporters Without Borders press release, here.

Nigeria is ranked 115th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.