Two journalists have been taken in for questioning by the police in Niger following a defamation complaint lodged by the president of the Niger Football Federation, (Fenifoot).
Roufai Dan Doua, Editor in Chief of the “90 Minutes” newspaper, was arrested on November 4, 2015, about 9.00 A.M, and interrogated by the Criminal Investigations Department, (CID) of the Nigerien police. Reports say Zabeirou Souley, the Editor in Chief of the private weekly, « Le Nouveau Républicain», was also taken in for questioning in connection with the same issue, and later released.
MFWA’s correspondent in Niger reported that the newspapers of the two editors published accusations that the Niger football boss had embezzled money meant for national team players as match appearance fees.
In an article titled “where did the 175,000 dollars from Nigeria go?”, “90 Minutes” alleged that the head of the Niger Football Federation failed to account for the sum of 175,000 dollars paid to the federation by their Nigerian counterparts as players’ appearance fees. Nigeria invited Niger for an international friendly match on September 8, 2015 as part of preparations towards the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers.
The article revealed that the Ministry of Sports has flatly denied the existence of such money, while the players also confirmed that they had not received a penny.
Following the publication and the complaint lodged by the president of Fenifoot, the police swooped on the editor of “90 Minutes” and, later, of “Le Nouveau Républicain”, whose newspaper made similar allegations.
The MFWA is against all acts of intimidation against journalists. We call on the authorities in Niger, especially the police, to stop harassing the two journalists. We also demand that this issue be settled as a civil matter.