Journalists killed in Nigeria

2010-04-27 08:54

 Gunmen shot and killed a Nigerian journalist at his home the same day two others died while attempting to cover fighting between Christians and Muslims in the nation’s restive central highlands.

The outbreak of violence highlights the daily dangers confronting local journalists in Africa’s most populous nation, a country where bribery and corruption prevails at all levels of government and some reporters temper their stories for fear of angering those in power.

In Lagos, police spokesperson Frank Mba said gunmen on Saturday night raided the home of Edo Ugbagwu, a reporter who covered court cases for the daily newspaper The Nation.

Mba said Ugbagwu’s younger brother witnessed the men begin an argument with Ugbagwu that led to the shooting of the 42-year-old journalist.

Mba said detectives on the case had yet to come up with a motive for the slaying. Lawal Ogienagbon, a deputy editor at The Nation, said Ugbagwu hadn’t been working on any controversial stories leading up to his death and had received no threats.

“He worked in the courts. All you do is hear from both sides and whatever the judge does, you report,” Ogienagbon said.

“We can’t say why he was killed.”

In Jos, the central Nigerian city at the epicentre of recent religious violence, two journalists working for the Christian publication The Light Bearer newspaper died on Saturday.

The Nigeria Union of Journalists identified them as deputy editor Nathan S Dabak (36) and reporter Sunday Gyang Bwede (39).

The union said unknown attackers stabbed the two men to death as they were on their way to an assignment. Earlier that day, the body of a 13-year-old boy was discovered in front of a mosque in the city, sparking protests and attacks. – Sapa-AP

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