Moussa Aksar, managing editor and Sani Aboubacar, reporter of L’Evénement, an independent weekly newspaper were on November 12, 2008 detained at the Civil Prison in Niamey for allegedly defaming Foukori Ibrahim, Manging Director of the Electricity Company of Niger (NIGELEC).
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the journalists were arrested after making an appearance before the Prosecutor at the Niamey Magistrate Court to answer defamation charges brought against them by Foukori.
The two, who are being tried summarily, contrary to the Nigerien media laws, are expected to make a return to the court on November 14.
In its September 29 edition headlined: “Death of Dutch Consul in Niger: Foukori in a mess”, the Evénement alleged that Smith Dégénère, the Dutch consul, died shortly in Foukori office after the latter had shown gross disrespect towards him.
The article written by Aboubacar Sani said Dégénère and his wife had gone to the office to complain about frequent power outages which had resulted in damages to their electrical equipment. The article alleged that Foukori called Dégénère a liar, which made him to remind Foukori that he is old enough to be his father.