Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) has expressed concern over the decision of Chief Magistrate of the Lagos court asking journalists to vacate the courtroom.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in a letter to Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria has condemned this action and has urged authorities to respect journalists and allow them to fulfill their duties.
According to the Institute for Media and Society (IMS), Chief Magistrate of Igbosere Magistrate’s Court 2, Folashade Botoku asked journalists of Vanguard, The Guardian and Take a Break Media to leave the courtroom.
The journalists had arrived before the proceedings had started and were seated in the area reserved for petitioners. Once the court was in session journalists were asked by the registrar to vacate the seats reserved for lawyers. The journalists questioned this order and said that the seats were not marked for anyone in particular.
When journalists questioned the order, the registrar than asked the female registrar identified as Rose Onafu to escort the journalists out of the court room.
The magistrate was due to announce the verdict in the case of a businessman Paul Ojoje and Princely Court, owners of Protea Hotel Kuramo Waters, over debt of N7 million.