Wednesday, September 27, 2023


WikkiTimes publisher: How I was assaulted, detained on Bauchi governor’s order for 5 days

WikkiTimes publisher: How I was assaulted, detained on Bauchi governor’s order for 5 days
March 08
11:55 2023

Haruna Mohammed, publisher of WikkiTimes, an investigative media platform based in Bauchi, has shared details of his arrest on February 25.

TheCable had reported that the journalist was arrested while covering a protest by voters during the presidential and national assembly elections in Bauchi.

In a statement on Wednesday, Mohammed said he was assaulted and detained for five days on the order of Bala Mohammed, the state governor.

The journalist alleged that the governor ordered his detention over claims that he has “hired by the opposition party to undermine him” by filming women protesting against his administration.


Mohammed said the incident left him “traumatised” as it separated him from his loved ones. He added that his mother cried for days and took ill while he was in detention.

“As soon as the interview ended, a group of the governor’s supporters attacked me and tried to grab my phone which I used for the video recording. They accused me of attempting to embarrass the governor by filming protesters in his hometown,” he said.

“The governor, I was informed, believed that I was hired by the opposition party to undermine him, the same opposition that has accused WikkiTimes, my media organisation, of being used by Governor Bala Mohammed’s government to attack them. Despite these accusations from both sides, neither the opposition nor the government has been able to provide any evidence to support their claims.


“The police eventually escorted me to a nearby station where I was held for several hours before being transferred to Bauchi Police Command. He used the Police Commissioner to detain me for three days in their custody and ensure I was remanded in the Bauchi prison for another two days.”


Mohammed described the state governor as a “representation of anti-democratic forces in government”, citing his alleged clampdown on journalists in the state.

The journalist added that police investigation into the matter found no evidence to support the governor’s claims that he sponsored the protests.


“Governor Bala Mohammed is a representation of anti-democratic forces in government. He has repeatedly demonstrated an unparalleled level of intolerance for opposing voices. Over the last three years, he has ordered the arrest of his critics, who talk about his poor performance in office,” he said.

“He has ordered the detention of people who criticise him on social media and threatened to ‘ex-communicate’ a Daily Trust reporter who asked a critical question during a public event.

“Many of those who have been arrested and detained by the governor’s orders have been denied their right to a fair trial. Some have been held in custody for extended periods without being charged.

“Such actions are gross violations of the Nigerian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression.


“Since the Saturday episode, Governor Bala Mohammed has launched a smear campaign against WikkiTimes and its journalism. Relying on the falsehood sold to him by his footlings, he claimed that I sponsored the women that protested him.”



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