- New guidelines for accreditation of media organisations, journalists/correspondents covering the 9th National Assembly have been released by the lawmakers
- The legislature asked the journalists and media organisations to note that all previous accreditation granted will lapse with the dissolution of the 8th Assembly
- Senate president, Bukola Saraki, however, claimed that he does not know anything about the development
Emerging reports have claimed that the leadership of National Assembly has disclosed some new guidelines for accreditation of media organisations, journalists/correspondents covering the 9th Assembly from June 11, 2019.
Channels TV reports that the guidelines were contained in a letter from the director information, National Assembly, Agada Emmanuel, on May 15, 2019 to Senate press corps.
The letter addressed journalists and media organisations to note that all previous accreditation granted will lapse with the dissolution of the 8th Assembly.
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Emmanuel also said the accreditation comes in four forms: permanent, temporary foreign/international media houses and freelance while television and independent producers will have one reporter and one cameraman, online media will have a reporter and a photographer, radio will have a reporter.
According to him, the media houses are to present; evidence of certificate of incorporation, evidence of membership of professional bodies, proof of membership of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) with registration number, code of certification from the national library for the media organisation, functional bureau in Abuja (staff strength not less than five editorial staff and daily circulation of 40,000 copies for the print media with evidence to support the claimed circulation figure.
The press corps, however, kicked against the new guidelines, suggesting that it suppresses press freedom and the ethos of parliamentary democracy.
In a response letter to Emmanuel's letter, chairman of the press corps, Ezrel Tabiowo, said the recent move poses an act of intimidation against journalists assigned to cover the National Assembly.
Tabiowo said: “We wish to state categorically that the new guidelines suppress Press Freedom and the ethos of Parliamentary democracy which the Senate Press Corps has over the years striven to uphold.
“In our assessment, we believe the recent move by the management poses an act of intimidation against journalists assigned to cover the National Assembly.”
Meanwhile, Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has claimed that he was not part of the new guidelines for accreditation of media organisations, journalists/correspondents coverage. This is contained in a statement tweeted by Olu Onemola, an aide to the Senate president.
Read the tweets below:
Recall that Legit.ng reported that a political group, Sustainable Democracy Agenda (SUDA), called for open balloting during the election of presiding officers of the 9th National Assembly.
Convener of the group, Malam Ibrahim Usman, stated this in a statement made available to journalists on Sunday, April 21 in Abuja.
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