Mr. Yakubu Mohammed, editor of WikkiTimes and author of an investigative report revealing terrorism funding and illegal mining in Niger State, has been placed on the police watch list while his wife, colleagues, and friends have also been subjected to coordinated threats, according to the Bauchi-based online media organization.
Yakubu showed through his investigation that miners with ties to China, who were operating under the licenses of Eso Terra Investment Limited and Majelo Global Resources Limited, were illegally exploiting Nigeria’s natural resources. These same miners were also suspected of bribing Dogo Gide, a notorious kingpin who terrorizes several states in Nigeria, along with his armed bandits.
Bauchi and Niger State Police Commands traced Yakubu and his wife Nafisat’s phone numbers in their pursuit of the editor. A police officer named Muhammad Hamzat, identified through Truecaller, contacted the editor’s friend Mustapha Gangare, as well as WikkiTimes reporters, Usman Babaji and Rabiu Tahir Musa in their search. The officer stated that a signal was sent from the Niger State Police Command.
Mustapha, Usman and Rabiu were informed by the police that they were considered “sub-targets.” The police officer, Hamzat contacted Yakubu’s wife and threatened her, saying he knew her location and could have found her husband if he wanted. He then demanded information about Yakubu’s whereabouts.
When Mustapha was contacted by the officer, he was told that the police were searching for someone who had stolen a phone and that he was among the sub-targets. Mustapha was invited to a meeting, but declined and requested an official letter explaining the reason for the invitation.
According to WikkiTimes, Mustapha confirmed that the police were after Yakubu due to his work as an editor. Similarly, the police contacted Rabiu and told him that they were searching for someone and he was considered a sub-target. He was later invited to a meeting but has not yet honoured the invitation due to the suspicious nature of the request.