Press Under Military Rule in Nigeria (1966-1993): An Historical and Legal Narrative

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This book investigates the relationship between Nigerian military governments and the Nigerian press in the context of press freedom over a period of twenty-three years. The largely historical legal study focuses on four objectives to wit: to examine the laws (decrees and edicts) which defined the limits of press freedom during military rule in Nigeria; to draw together in one document the pertinent Nigerian case law in the area of press freedom during military rule; to identify and analyze the institutional, legal and non-legal measures and mechanisms utilized by Nigerian military regimes in controlling the press; and to identify and analyze the socio-political factors that influenced or affected press freedom during military rule in Nigeria.


This is a most important and eminently scholarly book which analyzes, with penetrating insight and candor, the unnecessarily troublous relationship between the Nigerian press and the five Nigerian military governments which ruled Nigeria for twenty three years between 1966 and 1993. The language of this book is also especially lucid and penetrating. I very gladly and strongly commend the great book to students and scholars of the press generally and of the Nigerian press particularly. I also happily commend it to all Nigerians as well as to all lovers of democracy worldwide. Dr. A.B. Folarin – Covenant University (From the Commendatory Preface)

“The issue of press freedom in a developing country like Nigeria is quite controversial. While in Western democracies it is more or less an issue often taken for granted, in many Third World nations, it is a battle to be fought on a regular basis. Nigerians are just starting to put into proper perspectives their varied experiences during the long years of military rule. Dr. Oloyede's effort in this book is one of the expected efforts at chronicling the relationship between the military and various institutions of the Nigerian society during the period. What emerged from this study is the undying and resilient spirit of Nigerian journalists. This much came out clearly in this well detailed study. May this book serve as a memorial to those dark days and a permanent reminder of the popular warning 'never again'.” Dr.Lai Oso – Moshood Abiola Polytechnic

I have nothing but praise for his effort at documenting the travails and the challenges the press faced during those dark days of the Nigerian history. The book, when published, would be of tremendous value to the audience it is meant to address. It will be a good reference material for students, scholars and practitioners of the profession of journalism and communication in Nigeria. Dr. Idowu Sobowale – Lagos State University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction
Chapter 1
Press Freedom, Society and Military Governance
Chapter 2
The Origin and Growth of the Nigerian Press, 1859-1993
Chapter 3
The socio-political Climate of the Military Era in Nigeria, 1966-1993
Chapter 4
The Press Legislations of the Military Era
Chapter 5
The non-legislative Press Control Measures of Nigerian Military Governments
Chapter 6
The Nigerian Press and Military Governments: The Case Law
Chapter 7
The Nigerian Press under Military Rule: An Appraisal
Chapter 8 Conclusion
Appendix Bibliography Index

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