Ethical and Legal Landmines in the Age of Digital Journalism in Nigeria part 3



Continued from part 2.


Types of Court Injunctions to Combat Defamation in Nigeria

Quia timet injunction awarded to stop the intended publication before it is been circulated. Interlocutory injunction awarded to stop further dissemination of defamatory statements until the case is concluded Perpetual injunction awarded to stop further publication of such defamatory statements perpetually.

Legal Remedies for Defamation under Nigerian Law

He listed Legal remedies for defamation to include , the Court may award monetary compensation called damages in favor of the plaintiff,  swift retraction of defamatory statements and apology to the plaintiff and the court may also award several types of injunctions as long as it is captured in the plea.

Defamation Law

Defamatory matter is matter likely to injure the reputation of any person by exposing him to hatred, contempt or ridicule or likely to damage any person in his profession or trade by an injury to his reputation.

Such matters may be expressed in spoken words or in any audible sounds, or in words legibly marked on any substance whatever, or by any sign or object signifying such matters otherwise than by words and may be expressed whether directly or by insinuation or irony.

Law prohibiting libel and slander

Section 391 of the Nigerian penal code, Section 373 -381 of the Nigerian criminal code, Under the defamation laws of the various states, it is wrong for one person to defame another person by means of defamatory publications. The defamation laws of the various states have been passed to protect the reputation of a person. A person may therefore be liable in damages for making defamatory statements about another person without justification. Furthermore, defamation is also a crime, and sections 373 -381 of the Criminal Code laws prohibits defamation.

Law of Sedition

Sections 50 – 60 of the Criminal Code Act provides for the law of sedition and prohibits the publication of seditious matters and other undesirable or alarming publications and the carrying out of seditious acts .


The Nigerian Constitution

The 1999 Constitution by Section 39(1) guarantees the right to freedom of expression and the press. However, the proviso to Section 39(2) and (3) of the Constitution places a limitation on the freedom of expression and the press by: (a) Requiring authorisation by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in order to own, establish or operate a television or wireless broadcasting station for any purpose whatsoever. (b) Prohibiting publication of information received in confidence, that is, matters classified by government as official secrets as confidential matters, or any matter that affect the maintenance of the authority and independence of the courts, that is, publications.


Dwelling on Ethical and Legal Landmines in the Age of Digital Journalism in Nigeria, Kemela Okara Barrister Gray’s Inn London, LLB Middlesex, BL called on Journalists to be mindful activities that will attract the wrath of the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Freedom of expression comes with responsibilities and has limitation, that is what he called Journalists to bear in mind. So as not to face the wrath of the Law while performing their duties of information dissemination.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here