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Editor's children witness his assassination

A Nigerian editor was murdered in his home in Lagos, by a gang of six men who pumped his body full of bullets, report the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and other IFEX members.

Bayo Ohu was the assistant news editor with the independent newspaper "The Guardian". He was shot as soon as he opened his door, say IFEX members. The morning he died, his children were at home with him but his wife had left for church. His daughter reported that, from her hiding place, she heard the killers say, "The fool is dead." The assailants wore white gowns and matching skull caps, says MRA, and took only his laptop and mobile phone.

The International Press Institute (IPI) reports that the shooters did not steal anything else from the house "leading to speculation that the killing may have been linked to his work as a journalist." IPI says, "If, as it appears, Bayo Ohu's murder was linked to his work as a journalist, the Nigerian government has a responsibility to every journalist in the country to ensure that his murderers do not go free."

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and other members of civil society, including MRA, met in Lagos on 21 September 2009 to express their grief over the murder. They emphasised that journalists have become the target of assassins, facing enormous risks in carrying out their professional duties, and that security agencies are unwilling or incapable of solving the cases of journalists killed, reports MRA.

The groups are asking the Inspector General of Police to investigate the murder; and have called for a full coroner's inquest into his death, as well as a government panel of inquiry to find the perpetrators, according to MRA.

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