Niger State Govt Withdraws Alleged Extortion Charges Against Nigerian Journalist, Fejiro Oliver

Gov. Aliyu Babangida

A Minna Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday granted the request of the Niger Government to withdraw a suit against one Tega Oghenedoro, a reporter with the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA.

Mr. Oghenedoro had been in prison custody for allegedly blackmailing the Niger State government.

He had earlier went missing after meeting with officials of the state over a story he was working on.

The Niger State government said the reporter, who wrote under a different name, Fejiro Oliver, sought to blackmail the state governor, Babangida Aliyu, for money, an allegation associates of the reporter reject.

After news of the arrest became public, the state government arraigned Mr. Oghenedoro on September 30 on a four-count charge of joint act, cheating, extortion and intimidation.

The offence is contrary to Sections 293, 234, 397, 324, 293 and 397 of the Penal Code.

At the resumed hearing of the matter, the state counsel, Moses Ciroma, prayed the court to terminate the case as both parties in the suit had agreed to settle out of court.

He said: “we apply to withdraw the complaint against the accused person and also ask for the accused to be discharged.”

The Defense Counsel, Gabriel Esegene, who raised no objection, confirmed to the court that the two parties had agreed.

In his ruling, the Presiding Magistrate, Jibrin Zabo, granted the application of the state counsel, saying that the settlement was a welcome development.

The government of Niger state had earlier released text messages it claimed showed the journalist sought to extort money from the state government.

The text messages as provided by the Niger State government detailed a conversation between Mr. Oliver and an official of the Niger state government.