Police patrol in Kankara, Nigeria, on December 13, 2020. Police recently summoned Daily Nigerian publisher Jaafar Jaafar for questioning. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

Police summon Daily Nigerian publisher Jaafar Jaafar following governor’s threat

On April 15, 2021, five armed police officers arrived at the office of the privately owned Daily Nigerian news website in the Wuye district of Abuja, the capital, in search of publisher Jaafar Jaafar, according to a report by the outlet and its associate editor, Ibrahim Ramalan, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app.

Jafaar was not present at the office, and officers gave Daily Nigerian employees a letter summoning him to police headquarters on April 19 for questioning about his alleged “criminal conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and inciting violence,” according to those sources.

Ramalan said that the journalist did not attend the questioning and that police had not returned to the office as of April 27.

Jaafar went into hiding after Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, gave a March 19, 2021, interview with the BBC’s Hausa-language service in which he said that he planned to “deal with” the Daily Nigerian journalists who produced a 2018 series of videos alleging that he had received bribes, according to news reports and CPJ’s coverage from the time.

From hiding, Jaafar told the Daily Nigerian that he believed he was being persecuted for “exposing a corrupt official.”

In a phone interview with CPJ in early April 2021, Kano Information Commissioner Mohammed Garba said that Ganduje’s remarks were made in reference to a 3 billion naira (US $7.88 million) civil defamation lawsuit filed by Ganduje against Jaafar and the Daily Nigerian in November 2018.

CPJ called and texted Garba, Kano state police spokesperson Haruna Abdullahi Kiyawa, and Ganduje’s media aide, Abba Anwar, for comment, but did not receive any responses.