Online Publisher Arrested, Arraigned, Remanded in Custody for Alleged Blackmail

Mr. Haruna Mohammed Salisu, Publisher of WikkiTimes

On February 25, 2023, Mr. Haruna Mohammed Salisu, publisher of WikkiTimes, an online media outfit was arrested and remanded at the Police Criminal Investigation Department in Bauchi for alleged disturbance of public peace and attempt to blackmail the Bauchi State Governor, Mr. Bala Mohammed.

Haruna was arrested in Duguri, the hometown of the governor while interviewing and recording some aggrieved women who were protesting their inability to get employment after they had submitted their resumes at different quarters, saying they would not participate in the presidential election. He was taken to the Police Criminal Investigation Department where he was detained before his arraignment.

The publisher was arraigned before Ahmed Musa, Chief Magistrate in charge of Court three in Bauchi on February 28. The Chief Magistrate ordered him to be remanded at the Correctional Centre in Bauchi and adjourned the matter to March 1 for hearing and to rule on bail,

The Commissioner of Police, who was the complainant, accused Haruna of hiring some women to incite disturbance of public peace by instigating them to make utterances that would prejudice the peace and well-being of the intended voters at the polling unit in Duguri ward of Alkaleri Local Council and to blackmail the incumbent governor in his ward contrary to section 114 of the Penal Code.

Haruna denied all the charges when they were read to him.

His Counsel, S.G Idrees sought his bail, but a counsel from the Ministry of Justice, Haruna Mohammed, informed the court that the Ministry of Justice would like to take over the case from the Police and continue with the case as contained in the 1999 Constitution.

The court granted him bail on the following conditions: Haruna is release on Bail on the following conditions: a bail bond of 500,000.00; two sureties, one of who must be a Civil Servant not below the rank of Director and the second surety must be his District Head.

He was granted bail on March 2 after he met the bail conditions.