The Inspector General of Police,
Louis Edit House,
LETTER OF COMPLAINT OF THREAT TO MY LIFE, INTIMIDATION, BLACKMAIL AND PLOT BY THE FCT MINISTER, SENATOR BALA MUHAMMAD AND IBRAHIM BOMOI TO USE SECURITY AGENCIES TO PERSECUTE ME
This is to bring to the attention of your good office the above subject matter for possible investigation and further necessary action, should my claims be confirmed to be within the limit of law and fundamental human rights.
The onslaught against my person and my paper, DESERT HERALD by Senator Bala Muhammad and his Director of Treasury, Ibrahim Bomoi started when we promoted yet to be published book entitled “FTC Administration: The Rot Within!”; and invited the general public to forward contributions for the last chapter of the book. We relied on the Freedom of Information Act which has now become a law and the freedom of speech and expression in gathering all the materials used in compiling the book. It was initiated as part of our contribution to the present administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and future administrations in the war against a corrupt free society and holding accountable those appointed to hold public office with huge responsibilities like that of the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory.
But our efforts ever since Nigerians contributed massively to compliment our plan by way of freely giving useful contributions to the book was visited by several attempts of blackmail, threats to my life, intrigues to compromise some of our colleagues in the media to take up the ‘fight’ and desperate efforts to use the security agencies, instead of the due process of law.
Initially, despite the fact that the FCT Minister said and publicize through newspapers and radio stations that he has sufficient evidence of extortion, blackmail and intimidation against me attempted desperately to involve the Abuja Command of the State Security Service (SSS) to violate the law and persecute me, using his influence and position instead of using his ‘evidence’ to file a case in court of law. When the SSS eventually insisted on professionalism, due process of law and refused to be drag into politics of impunity, Bala Muhammad decided to use the option of using the police to do his bidding even though in his petition to your good office he claimed he had sufficient evidence to prosecute me, yet refused to go to court insisting the police to do the dirty job for him.
While he is desperately pursuing the option of my arrest and incarceration by the police, he sponsored a proxy, one Uzoka Chukwuemeka to file a suit against me in High Court No.7, Maitama Abuja in a suit No.CV/3277/13 with the same ‘evidences’ he wants the police to arrest, investigate and prosecute me on. By implication and out of his desperation he wants the police to investigate part of a case that is already before a court of law.
And at a time Senator Bala Muhammad and Ibrahim Bomoi are pursuing the option of using the police for possible persecution, going to court and using the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) both at the national and local level in Abuja as option 1,2 & 3, after the suit instituted through a proxy – they wrote to me through their counsel Joe Kyari Gadzama SAN on 17th, June, 2013 demanding a retraction and apology of the promotion of our book – or they would initiate criminal proceedings against me within 7 days. We replied them the following day (18th June, 2013) and challenged them to go to court but as at the time of writing this letter (22nd July, 2013) and despite the ‘overwhelming evidences’ they said they have against me, they couldn’t go to court, waiting for the police to do the dirty job for them. I have attached herewith the copies of the letter they sent through their counsel.
As it is so far, the police under your leadership must be commended by following the path of the SSS to adhere strictly to due process of law and to resist the power of anybody in government no matter how influential to use agents of law against law and due process. The minister must be encouraged – since he indicated that he had documented evidences against me – to go to court directly and respect the fact that an issue that has already gone to court (through Uzoka Chukwuemeka) must be exhausted by the court and therefore needs no police intervention.
The letter that was allegedly forwarded to you through the national President of the NUJ, Mohammed Garba Balogun and the National Secretary, Shu’ibu Usman Leman is part of the hatchet job being sponsored by the FCT Minister to ensure my persecution by the police by all means. Even by its own constitution and notwithstanding the fact that the matter is before a competent court of jurisdiction, the NUJ doesn’t have the powers to investigate me or recommend to the police my prosecution based on their phantom and one sided investigation.
It is on record that I have never been a member of the NUJ and I am a publisher of a duly registered paper not a reporter or a correspondent. Article 3 No. 1a of the NUJ constitution says “A person shall not be a member of the union, except if registered by the National Secretariat of the Union on the recommendation of the state council”. Throughout the constitution of the NUJ (attached herewith) and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria there is NO section or provision that gave the leadership or the Union powers to investigate the conduct of a none member or to recommend to the security agencies disciplinary action. No law authorizes them to investigate even their member on an issue before the court.
As media executives and citizens of democratic nation our freedom of speech and expression is not only incontestable but uncompromising; therefore the minister has no power to stop the release of a book whose content is not even known to him.
I also want to bring to the notice of your good office the persistent threat to my life by agents of Senator Bala Muhammad and Ibrahim Bomoi, since the crisis begun. On several occasions since the onslaught begun and almost on a daily basis unknown voices will hide their GSM number threatening that if I didn’t abandon the project of the book they will kill me. Specifically the callers insist I apologize to Sen. Bala Muhammad and Ibrahim Bomoi otherwise my days and that of my company are numbered. One of the caller who identified himself as Ahmadu and said he is a junior brother to Ibrahim Bomoi promises to organize thugs against me anytime I go to my home town of Potiskum. In view of the desperation of the FCT Minister, Ibrahim Bomoi and the series of blackmail they have been sponsoring against me on the pages of newspapers and radio stations lately, I have strong reasons to believe that their threats is indeed real and one that needs the attention of your good office to investigate.
It is also on record in one of the publications the FCT Minister reportedly sponsored that he will continue to use his powers as a minister and closeness with the presidency to deal with me by all means instead of following the due process of law. It is indeed an abuse of office and gross attempt to subject the exalted office of our president to public disrepute.
While I urge your good office to carefully investigate the official intrigues against my person, my company DESERT HERALD, the threat to my life and allow due process of law to prevail in the unfolding scenario and to preserve my fundamental human rights, I want to assure you that I and my company are ready and have already commenced full participation in the case that was instituted against us through Uzoka Chukwuemeka and wish to encourage the FCT Minister and Ibrahim Bomoi to desist from making desperate efforts through agents like the NUJ leadership to involve the security agencies in their own ‘war’ against us. We are ready to defend ourselves from all their allegations in a court of law since they have already admitted they have ‘evidences’ in that regard.
May God bless the federal republic of Nigeria and your efforts at repositioning the Nigeria Police.
Malam Tukur Mamu
CC: National Security Adviser (NSA)
Director General State Security Service (SSS)
Nigerian Press Council (NPC)
Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN)
National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Sadau Garba and Company, Kaduna
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), New York
Reporters without Border, Paris
Protection Rights of Journalists of Africa (PRJA), Cape Town, South Africa
Human Rights for Journalists, Canada
The Ethical Journalism Initiative, Brussels, Belgium
World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers, Germany
International Federation of Journalism, Brussels, Belgium
All Media Houses in Nigeria