The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) have been directed by a Federal High Court in Abuja to reopen the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for the 1986 murder of Newswatch Magazine founder Dele Giwa.

A letter bomb was used to kill Dele Giwa on October 19, 1986, in his Lagos office.

Justice Inyang Edem Ekwo ruled on Friday in a lawsuit against the AGF, holding that the Chief Law Officer of the Federation must bring charges against and punish those who murder media professionals in the nation.

In addition to Dele Giwa, the court mandated that the murders of other journalists while they were performing their legal duties be looked into, with the perpetrators held accountable in accordance with the law.

The African Charter on Human Rights and the 1999 Constitution both provide the fundamental right to safety for media practitioners, and the Incorporated Trustees of Media Rights Agenda, or MRA, had brought the AGF before the court to enforce this right.

In her ruling, Justice Ekwo mandated that the Federal Government guarantee enough protection of journalists’ lives, as stipulated by sections 33 and 39 of the Constitution and Articles 4 and 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Details to follow.

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