The life of Haruna Mohammed Salisu, the Publisher of WikkiTimes, a news website focused on “connecting the dots with unique stories”, is at risk for exposing a tax-evading clinic in Bauchi State.
Speaking with FIJ, Haruna said he began to receive threats following a publication by his media outfit which exposed how Makkah Specialist Eye Hospital was evading tax.
In the report, WikkiTimes said Makkah Hospital evades tax by making use of two different documents. Haruna said in line with the ethics of journalism, WikkiTimes reached out to Makkah Hospital with their findings and the chairman of the hospital confirmed them, saying “it is true”.
Haruna said: “We have everything on record. I was not worried by their decision to go to court. We have started the court process, in fact our court mention was on March 18.
“But all of a sudden, I went to my office to get a HDMI chord and surprisingly as I opened my the door I saw a threat letter. I opened the letter, read the content. I was surprised. You have gone to court; allow the court process go thrive rather than resort to issuing threats,” he said.
Reacting to the threat, Angela Quintal, Africa Programme Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), urged Nigerian authorities to “ensure the safety of journalist Haruna Mohammed Salisu and thoroughly investigate the source of the note threatening him”.
When asked if he had reviewed his security plans, Haruna told FIJ he was advised to leave Bauchi but he only returned on the invitation of the police.
“I’m in Bauchi on the invitation of the police who wanted me to come and offer explanation regarding the threat,” he said. “I actually wanted to decline their invitation but our NUJ Chairman here in Bauchi assured me that nothing would happen.”
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