A chief magistrate in Abuja, Mrs Zainab Bashir, on Monday, barred newsmen from covering the N7.5 billion fraud case of a
new generation bank.
Bashir was enraged by the presence of newsmen in her court, saying that “I do not allow the press in my court, they are
biased. Journalists who insist in covering proceedings here must obtain clearance.”
The judge asked journalists present to leave the court now or risked being charged for contempt and be imprisoned.
The chief magistrate directed the policeman attached to her to handcuff a reporter of The Guardian, Mr Lemmy Ughegbe.
According to her, Ughegbe was arrested because he did not comply with her order.
“Arrest that one. Yes! That big one in Ankara native wear, handcuff him and put him in the dock immediately for summary
judgment,” Bashir said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that other newsmen in the court room protested against the decision by walking
out of the court.
The reporter was arrested, docked and pronounced guilty of an alleged contempt without reading the charge, but the protest
against the decision by other newsmen forced Bashir to review her decision.
Speaking with newsmen after the handcuff was removed, Ughegbe said: “I have seriously been violated by the same court I
should go to seek justice.”