The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, has accused an online publication of fabricating falsehood and inciting the public against him.
Mr Aruwan on Tuesday said he sent a petition on Sunday to the security agencies over the publication. It is not clear whether any of the agencies has taken action as the reporter of the said story, Luka Binniyat, responded to a text message from PREMIUM TIMES with an indication that he was in detention.
Mr Aruwan on Tuesday addressed a press conference in Kaduna where he decried the publication and disclosed the actions he had taken on it.
“On 29th October 2021, my attention was drawn to an online publication authored by one Luka Binniyat. In this publication, Mr Binniyat quoted Senator Danjuma Laah of the Southern Kaduna Senatorial District as stating that I am being used to cover up a genocide against Christians in Southern Kaduna.
“Before questioning the veracity of the purported statement, I am supremely concerned first, for the implications of such a statement on the peace and security of our state, because of the religious and ethnic sentiments it has conveyed,” he said at a press conference.
“As a passionate journalist on leave of absence in public service, I am acutely aware of the burden of professional responsibility, which must accompany accurate reportage for the consumption of the public.
“Crucially also, it must be known that this material has exposed my life and the lives of my family to grave and immediate danger.
“You must be aware of happenings in Kaduna State. Within the last 40 years; thousands of lives and properties have been lost, and lingering bitter sentiments are still being managed for reasons related to the allegations now levelled against my person.
“You may equally be aware of the recent mob killing and elimination of an entire family in Zangon Aya, Igabi local government area, after being stereotyped, as well as the killing of some locals in the Doka general area after they were labelled ‘traitors’, simply because they were liberal in an environment of ethnic and religious hostility.”
Mr Aruwan said aside from reporting the matter to the security agencies for a thorough investigation, he had also informed the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) at the national and Kaduna State levels, “as a mark of respect.”
“I have also noticed some emotional mobilisation to deflect attention from the crux of this matter, which is injurious falsehood and defamation, and cloak my necessary reaction as an attack on freedom of expression. This total misrepresentation of the issue is simply roguish, petty and mundane.
“I have, therefore, considered it necessary to address you on this matter, for your adequate information. This will also serve to inform you of the actions I have been compelled to take to stem the horrendous damage to my reputation intended by the author of the defamatory story,” Mr Aruwan told reporters on Sunday.
Senator allegedly denies granting audience to reporter
Mr Aruwan said the senator quoted in the publication, Mr La’ah, has, however, denied granting an interview to Mr Binniyat.
“In addition to the complaint to the security agencies, my lawyers also wrote Senator La’ah on 1st November 2021, seeking his confirmation or otherwise of the quote attributed to him by Luka Binniyat,” Mr Aruwan said.
He said Mr La’ah, through his lawyers, responded to his correspondence by denying what was attributed to him in the publication.
“We are Solicitors to Senator Danjuma La’ah, hereinafter referred to as “Our Client”, on whose instructions we hereby respond to your letter in relation to the above subject matter.
“Our Client informed us that he was shocked by the content of your letter in which you said he granted an interview to Epoch Times through their correspondent, Mr. Luka Binniyat. Our Client informed us that though he knows Luka Binniyat, he never granted any interview or made any comment casting aspersion on either the Kaduna State Government or Samuel Aruwan, the Honourable Commissioner for Internal Security of Kaduna State who he regards as a younger Brother and holds in high esteem. He never made such statement either through Luka Binniyat or any other medium.”
“We hope this explanation will put the issue to rest,” Mr Aruwan qouted Mr La’ah’s response, at the press conference.
PREMIUM TIMES made several calls and sent a text message to the phone of Mr Binyat for his response to the allegation. A reply to the text message later stated: “He’s in detention and can not speak on the phone now, when he is free to talk, we will call, sir.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...