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14.02.2024 Featured Rector Drags Journalists to Court for Exposing Shoddy Projects in Kwara Poly

Published 14th Feb, 2024

By Mohammed Taoheed

Salihu Ayatullahi and Adisa-Jaji Azeez, two journalists from a Kwara State-based online newspaper, Informant247, have been dragged to court for exposing “shoddy projects” in the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin.

FIJ learned that they were sued by Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed, the rector of the tertiary institution, over the publication of an investigative report that exposed “false claims” the academician allegedly made about the financial status of the school and shoddily-executed projects within it. 

Speaking with FIJ, Taofeek Salihu, the publisher of the outlet, expressed his regret over the situation, as he believed it had unsettled their day-to-day reporting work in the newsroom.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Kwara Police Arrest Journalist for ‘Possessing Laptop’

“They are just trying to frustrate us. They believe we have other investigations about them, which they think they can use this case to prevent us from publishing, but we have our evidence.

“When they reached out to us, we honoured the invitation responsibly, and it was when we got to the police station that we got to know it was all about a story we earlier published about the school’s rector.”

He also said that he was surprised that the police were after journalists when they were supposed to be working on the incessant kidnappings ongoing in the state. “The anti-kidnapping squad called us then, and we were in court today until the case was adjourned again.”

On February 6, a source in Ilorin told FIJ about the police’s arrest of the journalists, saying the arrest was after the journalists visited the station to honour an invitation by the police.

“They cannot pick up their calls because they have been detained already. It is because of this report. They are in the police headquarters on Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin,” said the source.

READ ALSO: Benin Republic Arrests FIJ Editor Damilola Ayeni, Labels Him A ‘Jihadist’

FIJ called DSP Ejire Adetoun Adeyemi, the Kwara police spokesperson, and she told this medium that the command was working on the development.

“Good evening, sir. I have just been informed on this matter. We are making efforts to find a solution,” she texted in reply.

The police granted bail to the journalists on February 7, but they are currently facing trial at a magistrate court in Ilorin, and FIJ learned that Informant247’s lawyer was trying to challenge the jurisdiction of the court.

We contacted Engr. Abdul Jimoh Muhammed for comments, but he had not responded to our calls or messages at press time.

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Published 14th Feb, 2024

By Mohammed Taoheed

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