Magistrate fires journalist accused of incitement to publication by Kaduna commissioner

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A Kaduna Magistrate’s Court remanded journalist, Luka Binniyat, after being accused of offensive publication and incitement by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Homeland Security, Samuel Aruwan.

Mr. Binniyat had written a report published in online media alleging that Mr. Aruwan, a Christian, was being used by the state government to cover up genocide against Christians in the southern part of Kaduna.

The report attributes the comment to South Kaduna Senator Danjuma Laah, made in an interview with the reporter.

Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna on Tuesday, Aruwan said he wrote a petition urging security agencies to investigate the reporter over the publication.

Later Tuesday, the commissioner further revealed that the senator, in a response from his lawyers to Mr Aruwan’s letter, denied giving an interview to Mr Binniyat or making the statement attributed to him in the publication.

Mr. Laah then reported to the headquarters of the Kaduna State Police Command in response to an invitation issued regarding the complaint filed by Mr. Aruwan.

Police sources said the senator wrote a statement endorsing the contents of the letter his lawyers wrote to Mr. Aruwan’s counsel in which he denied any connection to the allegation made by Mr. Binniyat.

Mr Binniyat is said to have insisted to the police that he was quoting Mr Laah, prompting the police to invite the senator.

A few hours after the senator’s statement to the police dissociating him from the report, the security agency arrested Mr. Binniyat on Wednesday in front of the magistrate, who placed him in police custody.

Mr Binniyat has been on trial since 2017 on prejudicial lying allegations and other charges following an article he published while working for the Vanguard newspaper.

A front page article published by the newspaper in January 2017 under Mr. Binniyat’s signature claimed that five students from the College of Education, Gidan Waya, had been arrested in transit and murdered by shepherds.

READ ALSO: Kaduna commissioner accuses journalist of incitement, defamation

The journalist claimed to have identified one of the victims, including her hometown and her studies.

According to the story, “A relation of one of the victims, Michael Joseph, said that his brother, James Joseph, 26, a final year student of mass communication at the College of Education, Gidan Waya, had passed the weekend in his birthplace. of Kurmin Musa, Council of Jaba, Kaduna State, and was going back to school.

Authorities at the College of Education, Gidan-Waya, then debunked the story and also pointed out that the college does not offer mass communication.

Mr Binniyat claimed he tried to remove the story from the post when he realized it was fake.

After his release from the Vanguard newspaper, Mr. Binniyat was appointed spokesperson for SOKAPU, a group of ethnic associations in southern Kaduna.

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