News editor Nansok Sallah was found dead on Thursday morning. (Highland FM)
News editor Nansok Sallah was found dead on Thursday morning. (Highland FM)

Nigerian journalist killed; colleagues suspect murder

New York, January 20, 2012–Nigerian authorities should launch a thorough and transparent investigation into the murder of a radio journalist whose body was found on Thursday morning, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Nansok Sallah, 46, news editor of the government-owned radio station Highland FM, was found lying face-down in a shallow stream under a bridge less than 200 meters (650 feet) from a military checkpoint in the central Nigerian city of Jos, Highland FM General Manager Terzungwe Wua told CPJ. Wua said the journalist’s body bore no bruises, but a wound on the back of his right ear was noticeable. Sallah’s colleagues told CPJ they suspected he had been murdered because his valuables, including 6,100 naira (about US$38), were not stolen.

Sallah produced a weekly call-in program called Highland Profile, Highland FM Head of News and Current Affairs Nanbam Go’ar told CPJ. The journalist’s colleagues told CPJ that he had not reported any threats and that the motive of the murder remained unclear. 

“We mourn the death of Nansok Sallah, and extend our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues,” said CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator Mohamed Keita. “Authorities in Jos must pursue all leads in tracking his killer, and bring those responsible to justice.”

Wua described Sallah as a “cool-headed man who did his job diligently.” Prior to joining Highland FM three years ago, Sallah worked for Cool FM in Abuja, the capital, as well as Plateau State Radio and Television, he said.