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Caged Bully: SecretReporters Journalist Wins Court Case and N.3M Against Maritime Academy Rector Commodore Duja Effedua And Nigerian Police

Secret Reporters

An order of perpetual injunction has been issued against the Director of the Nigerian Maritime Academy Oron, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd) who has been using his power as a retired general and the Nigerian Police to continuously threaten the peace of renowned investigative journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Secret Reporters News, Mr Fejiro Oliver.

This was contained in a judgement delivered on the 5th day of May 2022, at the High Court of Akwa Ibom State holden at Uyo by his lordship Honorable Justice Margaret-Mary E. Udoma. In the case with suit number HU/FHR.96/2021, the applicant, Mr Fejiro Oliver through his counsel Augustine Asuquo, Esq. prayed the court to enforce his fundamental rights as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended from further violations by the retired commodore who was using the police apparatus, particularly officers from the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) of the Nigerian Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia, Uyo to threaten and intimidate him.

The crux of the matter began in 2018 when SecretReporters published a report on the activities of Commodore Effedua’s Special Assistant, Dr John Adeyanju. Subsequent investigations on the operation of the Academy under Commodore Effedua’s with unexplained transfers between the Rector and suspected cronies as revealed by credible sources prompted this online investigative news medium to request clarification from the office of the Rector under the Freedom of Information Act.

This did not sit well with Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd), who, after several failed attempts to uncover the identity of the sources within the Academy who were feeding information to the press, resorted to intimidating the Journalist to coerce him into giving up his sources, in violation of journalistic ethics.

In the ruling by Honourable Justice Margaret-Mary E. Udoma, Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua (Rtd), the Commissioner of Police of Akwa Ibom State, and the Officer-in-Charge (OC) of the SIB department, Police headquarters, Uyo, SP Benjamin Isaac, were ordered to jointly and severally pay the sum of N300,000.00 (Three Hundred Thousand Naira) to the Journalist for the violation of his fundamental rights and refrain from further interfering with his right to liberty and freedom of movement.

President Muhammadu Buhari first appointed retired Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua as Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, on November 17, 2017, as compensation for his loyalty to the ruling All Progressives Congress. On September 2, 2021, he was reappointed for a final term of four years.

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