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Gombe denies ordering arrest of journalist

Gombe State government has denied hands in the arrest of Yakubu Halliru, a local radio journalist with Radio Nigeria Jewel FM. The New Nigeria Peoples…

Gombe State government has denied hands in the arrest of Yakubu Halliru, a local radio journalist with Radio Nigeria Jewel FM.

The New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) Publicity Secretary, Muhammad Kabir Makko, had said the state government ordered the arrest of Haliru and a stalwart of the party in the state, Malam Ahmed Mandi, after a programme.

Mandi had while promoting the governorship candidate of his party, Khamisu Ahmed Mailantarki, on the programme alleged that the new fence of the Gombe State Government House under construction gulped over N4billion.

He expressed dissatisfaction over the construction of a new wall for the government house amidst cries by residents of the state over lack of people-oriented and visible developmental projects by the Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya’s administration.

But Ahmed Shuaibu Gara, Special Adviser on Information Management and Strategy to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, in a statement said the state government only tabled a complaint to the police against the radio guest who made unfounded allegations against the government.

“Gombe State government did not order the arrest of any journalist. What we know is that the government complained to the police, which is our right to do so. We have monitored a radio programme where a guest was invited to a political programme.

“In that programme, the guest alleged that we spent over N4 billion to fence the Gombe Government House. We presented to the police our records of the entire state budget for maintenance of all public buildings between 2019 and 2022.

“So, under the principle of fair hearing, we wanted the police to help us ask him for his own evidence.”

Gara added that if anybody wanted to get any information from the government for genuine purpose “he should follow due process”, adding that “the government is ever willing to do so in line with the Freedom of Information (FOI) policy.”