Vanguard correspondent accused of writing false southern Kaduna crisis report released on bail
Former Vanguard Correspondent in Kaduna Luka Binniyat has been released on bail.
A statement by Comrade Adamu Yusuf, Chairman of Kaduna Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said Binniyat has been reunited with his family.
“On behalf of NUJ Kaduna Council I will like to appreciate all those that contributed in one way or the other to see that Luka Binniyat is out of prison.
“He gained his freedom at exactly 12:50PM on Thursday. Those at the prison included Barrister James Kanyip his defence lawyer, Chairman NUJ Kaduna Adamu Yusuf who is also the third surety, his brother Barrister Binniyat Thomas, the two other sureties among others.
“He was in prison for 96 days and has been appearing in court before his bail was perfected after a review of the bail conditions on Monday, October 9, 2017.”
Why was he arrested?
Luka Binniyat was arrested after he was accused of falsifying reports on the Southern Kaduna crisis early in 2017.
He was accused of falsely claiming that five students of the State College of Education were killed by Fulani herdsmen. The report was published on January 24 in the Vanguard.
A security source said the report that five students were killed at a roadblock erected by Fulani herdsmen along Gidan Waya-Pasakori road in Jema’a Local Government, compounded security situation and created tension that almost plunged Southern Kaduna into another cycle of killings.
The journalist was accused of fabricating the name of a student (James Joseph) as among those killed, and saying the student was a native of Kurmin Musa village in Jaba LGA.
The source also said Mr Binniyat stated in his report that James Joseph was a student of Mass Communication in the institution.
“Immediately, security agencies embarked on a thorough investigation to the institution and the area the purported attack took place and Kurmin Musa village. There was no single student that was killed; there is also no Mass Communication course in the College of Education,” the source said.
“Our findings in the village revealed that there is no student known as James Joseph. And the area in question is in Kachia and not Jaba LGA. In a nutshell, everything reported in the story was found to be false.
“It is on all these, that he was investigated and handed over to the Police and they have taken him to the court.
Mr. Binniyat denied the allegation, saying he had his facts and source.