Again, el-Rufai Govt sues Vanguard Correspondent


…Did not joined Newspapers In the suit
…Sent to prison custody for unable to meet bail conditions
… I did my job professionally- Luka Binniyat
No journalist should suffer injustice for doing his work- NUJ

For the second time since last year, Kaduna State government led by Mr Nasir el-Rufai has sued the Kaduna state Vanguard correspondent, Luka Binniyat for allege fabrication of a story but sidelined the newspaper in which the story was published.

An online publisher, Onjewu Jacob Dickson, was sued and sentence to prison custody by the same el-Rufai led government last year.

Luka Binniyat, it was gathered, has been outstanding in the reportage of the killings in Southern Kaduna. Catholic cathedral Kafanchan has said in a document that over 800 people have been killed in some local governments in Southern Kaduna.

But the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said about 204 people were killed in Jama’a and Chikun LGAs.

Elanza News reports that the Vanguard correspondent was the one who broke the News that Kaduna state governor, Mr el-Rufai has asked people who were not happy with his style of governance to go and climb Kufena mountain. Binniyat also reported how Mr el-Rufai ‘paid foreign herdsmen to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna’.

Binniyat was charged today before a Kaduna Chief Magistrate Court 1, for allegedly ‘fabricating a story with the intention to incite the public against the government and cause chaos.’

The Vanguard correspondent was earlier in the day invited by the Department of State Security (DSS), Kaduna State Command. for questioning. He drove himself to the Command around 10am and after interrogation was handed over to the police who later charged him to court.

Speaking at the court premises before he was taken to the Kaduna Prison, Mr. Binniyat said, he was only doing his job by writing a story he is being accused of fabricating. He stated that he has his facts and source.

“My problem now is that the State Government is now focusing on my person rather than looking at the organization that published the alleged story, Vanguard Newspaper, which is my Principal. I expected them to have been joined in the suit but everything is, ‘You Luka Binniyat’, but I’m not discouraged by this as i will continue to put in the best in my profession as a Journalist”, Binniyat said.

Mr. Binniyat who was escorted into the Prison custody at about 4:15pm is to appear in Court on Tuesday to complete his bail terms.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Kaduna state chapter has said that no journalist should suffer injustice for doing his or her work.

The council chairman, Mr Adamu Yusuf and Secretary, Dauda Doka who stormed the court premises with other hundreds of journalists to show solidarity to Mr. Binniyat, vowed that no journalists in Kaduna State will ever suffer any injustice again for doing their legitimate duty.

Members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Kaduna State Council, led by the Chairman, expressed disappointment on the way and manner journalists are been treated in Kaduna.

The Chief Magistrate, Emmanuel Yusuf, had earlier granted Binniyat bail to the tune of N200,000 and a surety in the like sum. The surety must reside within the jurisdiction of the court with a landed property within the jurisdiction of the court, covered with a Certificate of Occupancy.

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