Ibrahim Sorley, managing editor of the weekly Le Enquêteur, was on Tuesday October 14, 2003 sentenced to a 12-month “suspended jail term” by the Niamey Regional Court. The court also barred Sorley from staying in Niamey, the capital, for three months.
It is recalled that Sorley was arrested on Saturday September 13, 2003 and detained by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for more than three weeks. He was arraigned before court on October 7, 2003 on a charge of spreading propaganda and “inciting ethnic hatred and regionalism.”
The Issue No. 169 of the Le Enquêteur had published an article, which suggested that President Tandja Mamadou had instructed the public treasury to withhold all payments due to Djibo Sakon, a well-known business contractor. The paper implied that the President’s directives were influenced by complaints being made by some businessmen in the East of Niger, who alleged that most public contracts were being awarded to Sakon who hails from the West of Niger.