The Nigerian Police Force Division in Ningi local government area of Bauchi State has invited Sadam Mato Burra, a stringer with WikkiTimes, after sharing comments on Facebook where Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed vowed to punish the local government Chairman, Mamuda Hassan Tabla over alleged complicity in dubious land selling scandal unearthed by WikkiTimes.
WikkiTimes had in an exhaustive investigation revealed how the LG Chairman aided and abetted deforestation in the protected Lame-Burra Forest Reserve.
The investigation uncovered how Ningi local government chairman through a well-connected syndicate, sold out greater portions of the Lame-Burra Forest Reserve to tree fellers and strangers, thereby making a lot of illegal money in the process under the pretence of having permission to that effect from the governor.
The story revealed how Tabla in alleged connivance with local officials is also backing the Coalition of Burra Herders/Farmers Forum for massive felling of trees in the forests. After the report was published, Bauchi State Government revoked all illegal land allocations in the Lame-Burra Forest.
WikkiTimes also uncovered how the Coalition of Burra Herders/Farmers Forum led by Uba Ahmad, an Imam of JIBWIS Mosque in Burra which was initially formed to help farmers get more land allocations from the LGA for farming purposes turned into a surrogate body for the illegal land allocations.
The governor in an interview with Channels TV conceded that the LG Chairman was complicit in the allegations revealed by WikkiTimes.
Governor Bala said he will ensure that Mamuda Hassan Tabla is made to face the full wrath of the law without prejudice to his position being the current Ningi council chairman.
Governor Mohammed said his level of decisiveness can be seen when he unseats a caretaking committee chairman of the local government shortly after assuming office over the same allegations as Mamuda’s.
“We discovered that when we set up a committee that an emir, a district head and local government chairman were complicit in the massive deforestation in the local government and even the local government chairman we removed him; we suspended many officers but the emir after he was exonerated of the allegations, we reinstated him.
“Just recently I discovered that in Ningi local government, the Chairman is responsible for the tree felling. We are taking measures because the Civil Defence told me. So, I will not spare him just because he is a local government chairman,” governor Bala said.
However, the divisional police officer in charge of Ningi local government sent some men to arrest Sadam ostensibly acting under the directive of the Chairman of the local government.
“A policeman from the local government division approached me with a written note containing four names including my name that the DPO is inviting me to the division tomorrow by 9’Oclock.
“I suspect that it might not be anything other than the previous story we published and the interview I extracted and republished on my Facebook wall where Gov Bala Mohammed was quoted saying he will punish the LG Chairman,” Sadam narrated.
SP Ahmed Muhammed Wakil, Police Public Relations Officer Bauchi State Command said the police invite a person after someone made a complaint about him, adding that people should not be jittery with police invitation.
“A Good citizen whenever he is invited to the police he has to appear. It is nothing. Maybe they have questions for him to answer.
“A citizen has to honour the invitation by the police. Why are the police looking for him? Do you think whether the police are looking for him for that information or not? The police might be looking for him to shed more light on his comments or somebody must have complained about him. Any other thing can happen,” he said.
WikkiTimes recalls that police in Ningi apprehended one Jameel Ahmed Burra after passing comment on Facebook about the slim chances of Hon Abdulmumini Mai Chemist of being selected as Commissioner representing the local government during Bala Mohammed’s cabinet resettlement.