Human RightsNews

Nigerian Journalist Lays Low After Threat To Life, Police Invitation

Jaafar Jaafar is not the only person who has gone into hiding after criticising the Kano State Government.

Nigerian journalist and publisher of Daily Nigerian, Jaafar Jaafar, has gone into hiding following threats to his life and an invitation from the police, HumAngle has gathered.

He had raised alarm roughly a month ago about renewed threats following a statement made by Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, writing to the then Inspector General of Police to inform him of his concerns.

The journalist had in 2018 published videos showing Ganduje apparently collecting kickbacks in US dollars from a contractor and stuffing them in his babariga.

“Mr Ganduje recently indicated that he and his supporters are scheming underground to ‘deal with’ our client. Ganduje made this statement on a popular BBC Hausa program ‘A Fada A Cika’ which aired on the 19th March 2021,” his lawyer had written in the petition to the IGP.

Jaafar has now fled his residence for safety. PR Nigeria, citing his close media associate, reported on Monday, “Ja’afar’s life is in danger as unidentified persons, likely to be ‘hit men’, have been stalking him both at his Abuja and Kano residences.”

In a letter dated April 14 and obtained by HumAngle, Head of the IGP Monitoring Unit in Abuja, A.A. Elleman invited Jaafar to the police headquarters.

“This office is investigating a case of Criminal Conspiracy, Defamation, Injurious Falsehood and Inciting Violence to the Inspector General of Police in which your name featured,” he wrote. 

“In view of the foregoing, you are kindly requested to interview the undersigned on Monday 19th April, 2021 by 10:00am prompt through SP Usman Garba (Admin Officer) to shed more light on the allegation. Your cooperation in this regard would be highly appreciated, please.”

Jaafar is not the only person who has gone into hiding after criticising the Kano State Government. Sa’ida Saad Bugaje, a lawyer, has also become a fugitive following her condemnation of the state’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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