Guilty of making several unguarded statements in the past, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar has called for the return of Decree No 2 as a measure to curb bad journalism.
Speaking during the proceedings of Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki’s trial, Danladi Umar stated that “journalists should be punished” for publishing falsehood,”it is a criminal offence.”
“If not that we are under a democratic setting, I would have advocated for the retention of Decree No. 2,” he added.
Recall that during the military administration of General Muhammadu Buhari, Decree Number 2 gave the Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters the power to detain for up to six months without trial anyone considered a security risk.
At the time, special military tribunals increasingly replaced law courts while the state security agency, the National Security Organisation, were given greater powers. The regime also jailed its critics, as in the case of, afro-beat king Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
He was arrested on 4 September 1984 at the airport as he was about to embark on an American tour. Using the wide powers bestowed upon it by Decree Number 2, the government sentenced Fela to five years in prison.