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Nigerian journalists in court on Tuesday

20 April 2013, 15:57Emeka Abebanji

Abuja – Two Nigerian journalists accused of publishing forged documents reportedly crafted by President Goodluck Jonathan are due to appear in court on Tuesday.

The journalists face conspiracy and forgery charges and could spend the rest of their lives in jail if convicted of forgery.

If convicted on the conspiracy charges only, they could face up to 58 years in prison.

Tony Amokeodo, news editor of the independent daily, Leadership, and Chibuzo Ukaibe, the paper's political reporter, along with Leadership Group Limited, the paper's parent company, have been charged with 10 counts of conspiracy and forgery.

The newspaper printed a copy of a memorandum and article suggesting the president had planned to increase gas prices and sabotage a merger of opposition political parties by targeting their leaders' business interests in the run-up to the 2015 elections.

believes the document is genuine and is standing by the story.

Media rights bodies have meanwhile slammed the case as an affront to media freedom.

"The severity of these charges is an attempt to crack down on critical journalism and silence opposition voices," said CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney, said.

It is unclear what the consequences will be for Leadership's parent company, if convicted.

- CAJ News


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