‘Journalist who released Ganduje’s bribe-taking videos being victimized’, Group tells Buhari

Some Civil Society Oranisations have urged the federal government to protect Jaafar Jaafar, the journalist who released a series of videos showing Kano state governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, allegedly receiving bribe.

Kano State governor, Umar Ganduje

In a statement signed by six CSOs, the groups accused the Federal Government of not doing enough to support whistleblowers in the country.

The groups who made this call are Centre for Social Studies and Development - We the People, Social Action, Center for Awareness on Justice and Accountability, Youth Alive Foundation, Youth Anti-Corruption Network and Center for Development Support Initiative.

The groups expressed disappointment over the position of the federal government on the matter adding that it has failed to demonstrate its commitment to fight against corruption “by condemning and prosecuting such high profile malfeasance.

“We keenly anticipated the response of the government and its anti-corruption agencies to this all too important test case.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we had expected that the government would consider this an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to the fight against corruption through condemning and prosecuting this high-profile malfeasance as a clear warning that the Buhari administration is serious and decisive in dealing with corruption no matter the persons involved.”

The groups also frowned at the revocation of the contracts to Mr Mohammed’s company, fearing that certain categories of persons are shielded from the government’s ‘war’ on corruption.

“For a government that created incentives to encourage Nigerians to report corruption through its whistleblower policy, the fate of these whistleblowers – Daily Nigerian, Mr Jafaar Jafaar and the contractor who took the risk of recording the video – discourages anyone from further reporting corruption.

“As it stands, the contractor has lost the contracts he won and Mr Jafaar and his Daily Nigerian could be shut down and ridiculed if it loses the suit filed by the governor. Already, Mr Jafaar and Daily Nigerian are incurring huge costs in legal expenses for doing the right thing.

“We call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to step up and champion this cause which Mr Jafaar has very nobly begun. It is important that he is given every support needed to ensure that he is not victimized.

“Similarly, we call on the federal government to extend the protection and support which its Whistle Blower Policy promises to Mr Jafaar and the contractor. These persons are currently being victimized for doing the right thing. The government has the responsibility of demonstrating to the country and the world that it is truly poised to fight corruption,” it said.

The groups warned that the manner the affair is being handled is a grave disincentive for fighting corruption.

“It should not be seen that the fight against corruption can be sacrificed in preference of political expediency. This will be a death blow for the country and those of us who have willingly supported this fight.”

Jaafar and other Nigerians who are fighting corruption in their various fields were awarded by the Youth Alive Foundation in December 2018 for their role in creating a corruption-free Nigeria.

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