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Court bans media coverage of terrorism cases

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The federal high court of Nigeria says there will be no more media coverage for cases bordering on terrorism.

This is contained in a statement signed by the court’s Chief Information Officer, Dr. Catherine Christopher.

According to the statement, terrorism proceedings will be conducted secretly, except when the Chief Judge of the court grants permission for media coverage.

The statement also says that terrorism proceedings will hold at any place to be designated by the Chief Judge and in the case of the Abuja judicial division, the venue, for the time being, will be the premises of the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

It states any person who contravenes an order or direction made under these practice directions shall be deemed to have committed an offence contrary to Section 34(5) of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 (as amended).

The perimeters of the court sitting over a terrorism trial shall be secured for the period of the trial for safety of litigants and court officials.

Distance and size of perimeters to be secured for the trial shall be determined based on the recommendation of security agencies on a case-by-case basis.

It says No person shall be allowed within the secured perimeters save the approved court officials, parties and a number of pre-registered legal practitioners on either side, witnesses and any other person as may be directed by the judge or the most senior judge in the given circumstances.

According to the statement, the practice directions take immediate effect.

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