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How ‘assault’ on journalist landed Hisbah men in court

A Kano-based private broadcast station, Express Radio, has dragged three officers of the Kano State Hisbah Board to court for allegedly beating and manhandling its…

A Kano-based private broadcast station, Express Radio, has dragged three officers of the Kano State Hisbah Board to court for allegedly beating and manhandling its reporter, Abdullahi Isa.
It was gathered that the journalist was assaulted for taking two female colleagues to cover an event meant to be attended by men only.
The defendants, Auwal Ibrahim Fagge, Dahiru Murtala and Faruk Umar Usman, were arraigned before a Sharia Court in Shahuci area of Kano city over the alleged assault on the journalist, but denied committing the act, when the charges were read to them.
However, the Sharia court Judge, Garba Ahmad adjourned the case to September 28, 2016, for mention after the counsel to Hisbah, Abba Bulama Burkarti, requested an out-of-court settlement which was not opposed by the plaintiffs. 
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the incident occurred at the Kano International Trade Fair ground, where a popular radio host, Ahmad Isa, who reads out love-themed Hausa novels on air, was holding an event.
It was gathered that Isa previously attempted to organize an event to entertain fans of his ‘Rai Dangin Goro’ programme, who are mostly women, but was prevented by the Hisbah Board on the grounds that such an event would breed “immorality.”
Recently, however, the radio personality succeeded in securing permission from the board to hold the event, but on the condition that only men would attend the gathering.   
It was learnt that the Hisbah officers, who were dispatched to ensure compliance with the agreement, reportedly pounced on the reporter, who took with him two female colleagues, Hauwa Musa Abdullahi and Saudat Yakubu Abdullahi, to cover the event.
Narrating his ordeal, Abdullahi said when they arrived at the venue, the Hisbah officials denied them entry, saying women were not allowed to attend the event.
“We told them we are journalists and not participants, but they insisted that no female would be allowed in. So, I met one of the organizers who tried to intervene but he was also snubbed by the officials.  I then asked them if there was any law banning journalists from covering certain events, but instead of responding to my question, they attacked me,” he said.
Abdullahi added that while that was going on, one of his female colleagues, Hauwa, sought the intervention of policemen, while the other lady, Saudat, attempted to record the scuffle, but was hit by one of the Hisbah officers who also tried to seize the voice recorder.
He alleged that when Saudat refused to give the operative the recorder, the officer pushed her to the ground, making her to sustain bruises on her arm. He added that when the police came, the Hisbah personnel began to chant ‘Allahu Akbar’ before they were arrested.
Condemning the episode, the Head of News and Current Affairs at Express Radio, Nasir Ahmed Karaye, said the station took the case to court because the action of the Hisbah men infringed on the constitutional rights of the journalists.
“We have the right to deploy male or female reporters to any event. The lady who was dragged to the ground by the Hisbah men is an intern attached to our reporters to learn the job and it is unfortunate that such a thing would happen to her,” he said.
Karaye added that the Hisbah Board was not happy with the rising profile of the programme, ‘Rai Dangin Goro’ which is hosted by the station and features dialogue that includes mimicry of female voices by the male presenter.
He also accused the Hisbah officials of trying to get back at the victim and the station over a controversial report on how the Hisbah detains young women suspected of ‘immorality’ under  questionable circumstances.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Kano State Hisbah Board proved abortive as none of its officials agreed to comment on the issue.
However, a source at the board said that efforts were being made to settle the matter amicably with the management of the station.

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