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ASSAULT ON JOURNALIST: Veteran counsels against press conferences in politicians’ houses

ASSAULT ON JOURNALIST: Veteran counsels against press conferences in politicians’ houses

A former chairman of the Kano council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) Abdulkadir Ahmad Ibrahim (Kwakwatawa), has condemned what he called “Assault and Battery” on journalists.

He however counseled that it is safer for journalists to interact with politicians at their press centres rather than the individual homes of such politicians.

The veteran journalist, who was also an NUJ vice president from 1994 to 1997, was reacting to the news that a House of Representatives member from Kano State, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, slapped a journalist, Abdullahi Yakubu during a press conference at his home.

The former NUJ chairman wrote in a group discussion that “Alhassan Ado Doguwa committed “Assault and Battery” and is liable to imprisonment without option of fine if found guilty as prescribed by the Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code.

“However, those of us who belong to the old brigade will not be surprised. Yes, Alhassan Ado Doguwa invited the journalists to his private residence for a press conference. The pressmen obliged and attended.

“That is the beginning of the problem and it will not end there so far journalists will attend press conferences outside the Press Center.

“During our time, when I was the Chairman of NUJ in Kano (81-83), we adopted a policy that all Press Conferences must hold at the Press Center. Exceptions were Presidents, Governors, Emirs, Police and Military Chiefs and others.

“The policy was strictly adhered to. Though it was the tradition before we came on board as I remember covering Press Conferences at the Press Center, No. 1b France Road, Sabon Gari, Kano, (currently the Kano Office of NAN) addressed by prominent Citizens like Chiefs Zik and Awo and Malam Aminu Kano etc. But the practice was adopted as a policy in 1981.

“If the Press Conference by Alhassan Ado Doguwa was held at the Press Center, he couldn’t have been near the Journalist to assault him,” he said.

Between lawmaker and journalist

The Kano-based journalist, Abdullahi Yakubu, who alleged that the House of Representatives Member Representing Doguwa/Tudun Wada Federal Constituency, Alhassan Ado Doguwa, assaulted him has said that a Chief Magistrate Court in Kano had directed the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone One, to conduct a discrete investigation on the alleged crime.

The journalist, through his lawyers had lodged a direct complaint before the court, where he claimed that the lawmaker “used his right hand and gave our client a deadly blow on his right ear … our client lost his good health. Our client encountered serious problems with his eardrums, tempanic membrane, excessive headache, general body pain and many more are some of the health issues our client is facing now.”

Reports said on 1st November, 2022, the lawmaker invited journalists to his home for a press briefing to clear his name over a trending story on social media accusing him of another assault on a former commissioner for local government and deputy governorship candidate of APC in Kano State.

A letter of complaint to the police by the allegedly assaulted journalist narrated that the lawmaker was threatening to “to send his boys to destroy all the billboards and banners belonging to Gwawuna/Garo for governorship and deputy governor.”

The letter further stated that the journalist begged the lawmaker not to take the law by his own hand, a plea that provoked the lawmaker into assaulting the journalist.

Alhassan Ado Doguwa has denied the allegation of assault as well as the news that he was invited by the police for interrogation.

 

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