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Taraba Governor, Ishaku Keeps Media Publisher, Ayodele In Unlawful Remand Nine Days After Perfecting Bail

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December 8, 2022

SaharaReporters reported that Samuel was remanded in prison after a secret trial, orchestrated by the Nigerian police on the orders of Governor Ishaku.

The publisher and Managing Editor of Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper, Ayodele Samuel, has now spent nine days behind bars on account of persecution in the hands of the Darius Ishaku-led Taraba State government.

SaharaReporters reported that Samuel was remanded in prison after a secret trial, orchestrated by the Nigerian police on the orders of Governor Ishaku.

It was reported on Monday that the Ayodele, the Chief Executive Officer of Rock FM 92.3, Jalingo, and Publisher, Taraba Truths and Facts, was arraigned secretly by the police and remanded in prison afterwards.

He was arranged before a magistrate court in Jalingo, upon which Ayodele was granted bail for a two-count charge of defamation and injurious falsehood after he pleaded "not guilty".

SaharaReporters had on Sunday reported that the publisher was detained by the police despite meeting the bail conditions given by the court.

SaharaReporters had learnt that Samuel had been remanded for six days despite meeting his bail conditions which were the provision of N10 million naira and two sureties who must be residents of Jalingo with landed properties worth N5million naira each.

Samuel has since met the bail conditions but the police have refused to release him.

SaharaReporters learnt that nine days have gone as Ayodele continues to bear the cruelty of the Ishaku's tyrannical leadership in Taraba State.

Governor Ishaku has remanded several others who have charted courses that oppose his governance without due trial, according to sources.

The case with Ayodele was withdrawn from the magistrate court to the State High Court with no day for hearing fixed and a refusal to grant bail to the journalist.

It was last week that a federal lawmaker from Taraba State, Danjuma Sheddi was condemning the unlawful detention of the journalist while demanding the release of his campaign council chairman who has been in custody for over a month without been convicted.

He had noted that a journalist is backed by the constitution to freely express, hold opinion, receive and impart ideas without any interference and required to hold responsible and accountable the government to the people.

Ayodele had in September published that Governor Ishaku had started processing the privatisation of the Mambila Beverages Company and plans to sell other state-owned assets.

The governor has since nurtured grievances against the journalist who has firmly established himself in the state with "Taraba Truth and Facts Newspaper" and owning the first private radio station in Taraba State, "Rock FM 92.3 Jalingo".

The Yoruba community has been very disturbed over the situation and is worrisome about the certainty of their settlement in the state.

The community council had earlier sent delegates to mediate with Governor Ishaku but to no avail.

Prominent media organisations, such as the Foundation for Investigative Journalists, Media Rights Agenda, Committee for protection of Journalist, Coalition of Journalist of Conscience, others have been on their heels to fight against what is considered suppression of the press and freedom of information.

Ayodele's family has never been the same since the beginning of his turmoil, with his wife and parents always in tears when contacted and the rest of his family showing great concern, SaharaReporters was told.

The governor is the Senatorial Candidate for Taraba South under the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and is considered by many to have sacrificed his aspiration on the altar of sentiment and self-conceit with his recent actions.

Before his arrest and detention, Samuel raised the alarm over alleged threats to his life by agents of the state government.

In November, Samuel told SaharaReporters that agents of the state government led by the Aide De Camp to Ishaku had been making efforts to kill him. He said he had it on good authority that the state government through the Attorney General had concluded plans with a Magistrate Court in Jalingo to remand him in prison and give stringent bail conditions that would be hard for him to meet.

He had said, “While it appears that the government is trying to unjustly repress me through the legal framework through a petition to the police to investigate some reports published by the Taraba Truth and Facts Newspapers with regards to the privatization of the Mambilla Beverages Company and the College of Nursing, Jalingo, its agent are also simultaneously trying to eliminate me, giving me no room to be vindicated.

“Some of the publications that are said to have angered the government were published on Taraba Truth and Facts, as well as several notable media organizations in the country. Rather than give their side of the story, they have chosen to specifically go after Taraba Truth and Facts and my individual self.

“I also want to bring to your notice that the ADC and some top government officials are victimising me on the grounds that I’m not an indigene of Taraba State and lack standards to publish a newspaper in the state. It's a common statement within those corridors of power in Taraba State that 'I should return to my fatherland.’ An aide to Governor Ishaku once wrote this.

“I strongly believe I need to be alive to defend myself from any allegations levelled against me, the state owes a duty to protect me. I’m however not confident of my safety in Taraba State any longer.”