DAILY Nigerian publisher Jaafar Jaafar who exposed the corrupt antics of Kano State governor Abdullahi Ganduje in 2018 when he published a video of him stuffing dollars into his pockets has had to flee his Kano and Abuja residences after receiving death threats.
Three years ago, Mr Jaafar showed Governor Ganduje receiving what looked like bribes from a contractor and stuffing the money into his agbada. In the recording, he pointed out that the governor normally demands a 30% cut from all state contracts which contractors have to cough up in cash if they want the work.
An enquiry was initiated by the Kano State House of Assembly but the governor successfully got an injunction to stop it. Since then, Governor Ganduje was narrowly re-elected in 2019 and has gone after many of those opposed to him at the time, including the former Emir of Kano Alhaji Lamido Sanusi.
This week, Mr Jaafar had to flee for dear life and is presently in hiding after some unknown persons had been on his trail for a while. His latest travails are part of a recent persecution pattern that saw the Nigeria Police Force Police Monitoring Unit send him a letter on April 14, invited Mr Jaafar for questioning, alleging that he was inciting violence and spreading injurious falsehoods.
One source close to Mr Jaafar said: “The journalist is no longer staying at home. He is in danger as some unidentified persons, likely to be hit men, have been trailing his movements, both at his Abuja and Kano residences.”
Earlier this month, Mr Jaafar received a letter signed by Assistant Police Commissioner Elleman of the Monitoring Unit, saying that his office is investigating a case of criminal conspiracy, defamation, injurious falsehood and inciting violence against the inspector-general of police. It invited Mr Jaafar to come in for questioning but it is not yet clear if he honoured the invitation or not.
On March 22 Mr Jaafar had cried out that the governor should be held responsible if anything bad should happen to him. Last Friday, Governor Ganduje told the British Broadcasting Corporation Hausa Service that his government was making plans to deal with those who released the videos against him.
In the face of the renewed threats, Mr Jaafar wrote a petition to the inspector-general of Police Mohammed Adamu through his counsel, Abdullahi Gumel. He noted that although Ganduje was a sitting governor and a member of the ruling party, should handle the matter professionally, diligently and speedily.