Nigerian newspaper editor shot dead in Onitsha

Nigerian newspaper editor shot dead in Onitsha

(Source: CPJ). Ikechukwu Udendu, the editor of Anambra News, a monthly newspaper in Anambra (south east of the country), has been shot dead by unidentified gunmen, while he was returning home at night in the city of Onitsha from a commercial printing house, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said, quoting local news reports.

Udendu had gone to the printing company to see if the paper was ready for distribution, according to reports from Onitsha.

Chukwulozie Udendu, Anambra News publisher and Udendu’s brother, told local journalists that he had received an anonymous phone call on Saturday night in which he was told to retrieve the journalist’s body in front of a local restaurant, news reports said.

The publisher told CPJ he did not know what stories Udendu was working on before he died. Local journalists said they suspect Udendu was killed in connection with his reporting, but did not offer further details. Emeka Odogwu, a reporter for the local paper The Nation, told CPJ that Anambra News covered news stories from Anambra state.

CPJ urges Nigerian authorities to determine the motive behind the murder of Udendu and bring the perpetrators to justice. Anambra State Police Commissioner Ballah Nasarawa was quoted as saying that he will personally investigate the murder and identify the journalist’s killers.

Media practitioners in Nigeria have been under tremendous pressure lately from the country’s mediaphobes, who are determined at all costs to curtail free and critical reporting. CPJ said it documented the murder of another Nigerian journalist in January 2012. Enenche Akogwu, a TV reporter, was gunned down while he attempted to interview witnesses of a terrorist attack in the city of Kano.

*Photo by Wikimedia Commons. A Bridge over the Niger River that leads into the city of Onitsha, Anambra State.

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