Christian Human Rights Entity “pleased” after Court Orders Release of Nigerian Journalist

Luka Binniyat. Credit: CSW

The leadership of the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is delighted following the release of a Nigerian journalist who had been arrested in November last year for criticizing the government. 

On Thursday, January 27, a Nigerian Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna State ordered the release of Luka Binniyat on bail.

Mr. Binniyat had been arrested by members of the Kaduna State Investigation Bureau in connection with an article he had written criticizing the Kaduna State government’s poor response to the September 2021 attacks on communities in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Southern Kaduna, in which at least 49 people reportedly lost their lives and 27 others were kidnapped. 

“CSW is pleased to learn Mr. Binniyat has finally been granted bail, after enduring a lengthy and unwarranted period of pre-trial detention in a maximum-security prison,” CSW President, Mr. Mervyn Thomas, says in a Thursday, January 27 report.

CSW leadership reports that Mr. Binniyat pleaded not guilty to the charges of cyberstalking, aiding, and abetting the offences of cybercrime.


The Nigerian journalist was formally arraigned in court following his plea; the prosecution raised no objection to his bail application, say officials of the UK-based human rights foundation. 

According to CSW, Mr. Binniyat's bail terms stipulated one million Naira (US$2,405.00) and two sureties residing in Kaduna State with the same amount of money. The sureties were also required to possess properties covered by certificates of ownership in the Nigerian State. 

Prior to his bail hearing, the case of the former spokesperson of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) had been postponed on multiple occasions for what was explained as the absence of the judge. 

On Tuesday, January 25, CSW officials  expressed disappointment following the adjournment of Mr. Binniyat's case, which had been scheduled for the previous day.

Unlike previous hearings that were postponed, CSW officials noted that the January 24 adjournment had not been occasioned by "seemingly punitive" reasons. 

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In the January 27 report, CSW Founder President calls on Kaduna State officials to ensure due process continues to be observed as the trial process for the journalist goes on. 

He further urges Kaduna State officials to “prioritize the arrest and prosecution of genuine instigators and perpetrators of violence, along with the protection of citizens regardless of creed or ethnicity."

Mr. Mervyn also calls on members of the international community "to maintain a close scrutiny on the situation of human rights crisis in Kaduna State, particularly with regard to the freedoms of expression and religion or belief, raising issues of concern with the Nigerian government whenever necessary and assisting in addressing the violence in every possible manner.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.