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Justice For Sale: How An Assistant Registrar At Bauchi Magistrate Court ‘Solicited For Bribe’ To Obfuscate Justice Against Journalist

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One Abbas Ahmed Sallau, Assistant Registrar at Bauchi Magistrate Court along Games Village road, has requested a bribe to obfuscate a case against Ibrahim Bababa of Albarka Radio.

Mr Bababa had instituted legal action against Ali Shehu, popular known as Dan Turawan Dass who allegedly raided Albarka Radio on January 16, 2019, and attacked the journalist for “airing an unfavourably political program.”

The case was scheduled for mention on 31st January 2022 before Justice Mashkura Abubakar of Magistrate Court 11 at Games Village but was abruptly disrupted “without convincing reason”, Bababa said.

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Bababa narrated to WikkiTimes how the Assistant Registrar of the court tried to obfuscate the case through dubious and corrupt tendencies.

“The assistant registrar called me on phone, his thought was that he was speaking with Dan Turawan Dass. He told me that he has some information to share with me in respect of my case with Ibrahim Bababa; presumably, his thought was that he was speaking with Dan Turawan Dass.

“He told me that he was trying to curry favour for me and that is why he dribbled Bababa in the court by ensuring that the Magistrate strikes out the case for mention on the 31st of January 2022”, Bababa recalled.

In the audio conversation between Mr Bababa and Mr Abbass, obtained by WikkiTimes, the assistant registrar was heard narrating how he curried favour for Dan Turawan Dass when the case appeared for mentioning.

He said it was with his help that the Judge did not order the arrest of Dan Turawan Dass.

In the audio record in possession of WikkiTimes, Abbas also narrated how he masterminded the postponement of the matter in favour of Dan Turawa Dass.

The assistant registrar forwarded his Eco-Bank Account Details (266***6323) to Mr Bababa whom he mistook for Dan Turawan Dass “so that he will be paid for the corrupt services he rendered by trying to upturn justice”, Bababa said.

When WikkiTimes confronted the assistant registrar regarding his phone conversation with Mr Bababa, he denied any wrongdoing. The assistant registrar also ended his call abruptly when our reporter continued with his interrogation.

Subsequent calls put to his line did not connect.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, CPJ has reported that Nigeria is one of the countries where journalists are unsafe.  According to CPJ, between 1992 to 2021, at least 24 Nigerian journalists have either died or got missing while doing their jobs.

A recent press statement by a Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has condemned continuous attacks on journalists and called on the Nigerian government to prioritise the protection of media workers in the country.

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