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Ganduje ‘bribery’ video: Media activists ask FG to probe ‘death threats’ against publisher

Ganduje ‘bribery’ video: Media activists ask FG to probe ‘death threats’ against publisher
April 21
16:46 2021

Media Rights Agenda (MRA), a non-governmental organisation, has asked the federal government to investigate the alleged threat to the life of Jaafar Jaafar, journalist and publisher of Daily Nigerian newspaper.

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Daily Nigerian had published a series of secretly recorded videos in 2018, showing Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, pocketing wads of dollars allegedly taken as kickbacks.

The governor has since denied the videos, saying they were doctored. He blamed it on mischief makers who were bent on tarnishing his reputation.

In an interview with the BBC Hausa Service on March 19, 2021, the governor also threatened to deal with those behind the video.

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In a statement on Wednesday, MRA said Jaafar has gone into hiding after receiving an invitation from the inspector-general of police (IGP) monitoring unit on April 14, asking him to report for questioning on charges of criminal libel based on an allegation that he was inciting violence and spreading injurious falsehood against the IGP.

MRA also stated that unknown persons likely to be “hitmen” have reportedly been stalking the journalist, both at his Abuja and Kano residences.

“As a journalist, Jaafar, has a constitutional right and duty to hold government and its officials accountable,” Idowu Adewale, MRA’s communications officer, said.

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“Since he is a Nigerian citizen and a journalist, the police have a duty on both counts to protect him from any form of harassment or threat, as well as any danger on his life or the lives of members of his family and any attempt to prevent him from performing his professional duties.”

Adewale said Jaafar cannot receive fair treatment from the police, considering that the alleged offence was committed against the IGP.

Adewale said MRA shared Jaafar’s concerns that the allegations upon which the invitation for questioning was based are a mere attempt to lure him into police custody for the “worst”.

MRA, therefore, urged the government to ensure that a thorough investigation is conducted into the threats to Jaafar’s life and ensure his safety.

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