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HomeNewsMedia Foundation For West Africa Condemns Dogara Over Legal Action Against WikkiTimes

Media Foundation For West Africa Condemns Dogara Over Legal Action Against WikkiTimes

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The Media Foundation for West Africa, MFWA, has rejected in totality the legal action Ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives Hon Yakubu Dogara instituted against WikkiTimes demanding over N2b in damages.

WikkiTimes had reported that Mr Dogara alongside UBEC squandered constituency funds meant to build a model schools project in his constituency.

However, after the report, Haruna Sailisu Mohammed, the Publisher of WikkiTimes was threatened.

Mr Dogara also issued a retrenchment and apology window to the news outlet over the report, threatening to resort to legal action to get redress.

On January 14th 2022, the lawmaker filed a legal suit against WikkiTimes demanding over N2b in exemplary damages at a 10 percent interest rate until all issues in the matter were fully addressed. 

MFWA in a statement said the tracking and intimidation of Haruna is not only condemnable but also barbaric as it was meant to deter him and his online news outlet the freedom to report issues of accountability.

“We urge the police to take steps to protect the publisher from any harm or harassment.

“Press freedom is the cornerstone of democracy and a fundamental condition for progress and development in any modern society.

“The MFWA, therefore, denounces any attempt to discourage critical and accountability journalism with vexatious legal actions and fanciful claims for fantastic sums in damages,” MFWA said.

“This is the second major suit against WikkiTimes in ten months. On March 18, 2021, a charity group, Al Bashar International Foundation based in Bauchi State, sued WikkiTimes Media Limited and three others including the publisher for defamation.  “The critical online news portal had published reports alleging that a Makkah Eye Clinic operated by the plaintiffs as a charity, was in fact charging exorbitant commercial fees and evading taxes. “The Plaintiffs requested a total of about USD 2.8 million in exemplary damages and general damages”, the foundation added.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) had supported WikkiTimes with the legal cost when Makkah Eye Clinic instituted a legal action against the outlet.

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