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Media org blasts Bauchi police command for hoarding Journalist’s phone

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Media org blasts Bauchi police command for hoarding Journalist’s phone

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The Media organization for West Africa (MFWA) has in a press statement yesterday, expressed concern over the Bauchi Police’s refusal to return to the Publisher of WikkiTimes, Haruna Mohammed Salisu, his phone, which contains two SIM cards, despite a court order mandating them to do so.

The foundation observed that on March 9, a magistrate court in Bauchi State ordered the police to release Salisu’s phone and SIM cards but that the order is yet to be complied with.

According to the media foundation, the action of the police is preventing the publisher from doing his work as a journalist and disrupting his personal life.

“Salisu is worried that the police may be tampering with his phone, accessing its contents, and using the information for their own purposes”, the foundation said.

“The Media Foundation for West Africa MFWA is deeply concerned about the continuing harassment of Haruna Mohammed Salisu, publisher of the WikkiTimes news website and calls on the government of Bauch State to uphold the rights of the journalist”, the foundation added.

It further recalled that on February 25, 2023, security officers close to Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, arrested Salisu in Duguri while he was covering Nigeria’s presidential elections.

“His phone was seized, and he was detained. Salisu alleges that the governor ordered his arrest”, the statement added.

It said, “on March 7, Salisu was arraigned at Magistrate Court III on a charge of inciting public disturbance, which he denied. Although he was granted bail, he was not released until March 9 when he met the bail conditions”.

The media foundation said, in addition to the emotional impact of his arrest and detention, Salisu’s family has been adversely affected.

“His mother fell ill, and his wife is still traumatized by the events”, the statement noted.

The MFWA while condemning the action of the police, appealed to Governor Bala Mohammed of the state to intervene in the matter.