IGP transfers Katsina police spokesman for harassing female journalist
A few days after a journalist, Rukayyah Jibia of TTV was allegedly assaulted, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Usman Baba ordered the transfer of the police public relations officer of Katsina command, Gambo Isah, for his involvement in the case.
In a move seen by insiders as punishment, Mr Isah, a chief superintendent of police, was transferred to Zone 14 police headquarters in the same Katsina State.
The latest transfer/posting, dated May 25, 2023, and referenced CH.5360/FS/FHQ/ABJ/V.TIl/210, affects 15 police officers, with Mr Isa topping the list.
It could be recalled that the Katsina-based journalist, Rukayyah Jibia, raised an alarm over alleged threats to her life by the police after posting a video on TikTok faulting the Katsina State Command for parading suspects before trial.
She said parading suspects is capable of ruining their reputation, especially when they are found not guilty and discharged and acquitted by the court.
She urged the police to always allow the court to convict or sentence suspects before parading them to the press.
But her suggestions didn’t sit well with the police, who accused her of undermining their authority and causing them disrepute.
Narrating her ordeal in a telephone interview with DAILY NIGERIAN on Thursday, Ms Jibia said, “On May 21st, I posted a video on my personal TikTok handle where I criticised the way and manner in which some ladies were paraded by the police for alleged prostitution.
“I suggested that the police allow the court to pronounce accused persons guilty before they are paraded before the press.
“The next day after posting the video, I received a call from the Katsina State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Gambo Isah, asking me to report to the emir’s palace.
“He said the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji AbdulMumin Kabir Usman, wanted to see me.
“I was on my way to the emir’s palace when the police blocked my way and stopped my vehicle. I didn’t know they were on my trail.
“They came with about four vehicles and one Hilux. There were about 21 policemen. So when the incident happened, I was on the phone with my colleague, Jamil, and I explained the situation to him.
“I told him if I go missing, the police should be held responsible, but they forcefully grabbed and twisted my hands to collect the phone and smashed it on the ground. In the process, I sustained a minor injury.
“I was subsequently taken to the Emir’s palace. Upon arrival, the Emir asked if I was an activist, and I said no, I’m a journalist. And he said he doesn’t care. That he is trying to rid the town of miscreants and I was sabotaging his effort by encouraging immorality.
“He told me if I die in that process, I will go to hellfire. He asked that I be arraigned before a Khadi [Sharia court judge] until he was ready to see me,” she said.
Speaking on how she escaped, the journalist who is currently on the run, added, “I was arraigned before Sharia Court 3 on May 23, but fortunately the Khadi was not on seat because the court had closed before we arrived.
“So I was taken to the area commander, Metro. I later secure my bail after spending five hours.
“The next day I went back to write a statement, and I was asked to come back the following day, which is Thursday.
“I went there around 11:00 a.m. in the morning hoping that I would be charged to court. But unfortunately, the area commander told me I would be taken to the police headquarters instead.
“My lawyer wasn’t there at the time, so I was scared due to the assault Gambo Isah and his boys meted out on me.
“So I requested the Area Commander to allow me to get some stuff and I will be back, and that’s how I ran away for my life. I’m currently hiding because my life is in danger,” she said.
But in a statement via his Twitter handle, the police public relations officer, Gambo Isah, denied the allegations.
He accused the journalist of clout chasing, noting that she had always maligned the reputation of the police.
He said, “Recently, the KTS Metro was faced with incessant attacks by Kauraye, phone snatchers, and other crimes.
“The command swung into action and raided criminal hideouts, including brothels, which led to the arrest of 72 suspected persons. Four young women suspected to be sex workers were among those arrested and paraded before the press.
“Ruqayya did not appreciate the efforts of the NPF in nipping in the bud, the crimes disturbing the community but took to her usual TikTok and continued to rant on the police for arresting and parading the women.
“Subsequently, at a security meeting, I reported her conduct to our traditional father, the Emir. And in Katsina, and the north in general, we uphold traditional values and institutions above every other one.
“His Royal Highness, directed that she be invited, but Ruqayya refused the police invitation, dragged with police officers who exercised restraint despite abuse and videos,” he said.
While insisting that her life was not under threat as alleged, Mr Isah noted that she was granted bail to a reliable surety in the presence of her lawyer.
In a surprise twist, AMASIS Broadcasting Limited, the owners of Tambarin Hausa Television, issued a statement disowning Ms Jibia.
The company said in a statement on Friday that she was not their reporter, saying “any media organisation, security agency, individual and corporate organisation that engage her in whatever dealing do it at its own risk.”
But in a swift reaction to TTV’s claims, Ms Jibia posted her identity card and appointment letter, dated October 1, 2021, and signed by the founder/CEO of TTV, Ibrahim Makama.