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Kutigi expels journalists from confab session

26 June 2014, 12:14

Abuja- The National Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, on Wednesday sent journalists covering the conference out over discussions he said bothered on national security.

About an hour into the plenary to debate the report of its Committee on National Security, security operatives, on Kutigi's orders, chased journalists away from the conference.

The chairman hinged his decision on the sensitive issues contained in the report of the committee presented by its Deputy Chairman, Chief Albert Horsefall.

"Can the pressmen clear yourselves; the pressmen should disappear, please. Pressmen disappear.

"Shut your cameras; shut everything and get out. Disappear, please. Pressmen disappear from the hall,’’ Kutigi ordered.

At this point, security operatives came up to the gallery where journalists were seated and chased them out while those inside the hall were also chased out.

The security operatives prevented some journalists from packing their belongings and working gadgets.

As the journalists were being walked out, some delegates threatened to stage a walkout in solidarity with the journalists.

The delegates were those representing the Media, Civil Society Organisations and the Labour Unions.

They included former Presidents of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lanre Ogundipe and Sani Zoro, Damien Dodo (SAN), Florence Ita-Giwa, and Femi Falana (SAN).

Others were Raymond Dokpesi, owner of Daar Communications, a representative of NAWOJ, Brenda Akpan, and Joe Okei-Odumakin, among others.

They contended that the chairman could have addressed the journalists decently and politely while asking them to excuse the conference.


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