Journalism is Not Crime — Hisbah Arrests Trust TV Journalist Over Social Media Post Criticizing Human Rights Violations


Katsina State Hisbah Board has arrested Jamil Mabai, a journalist working with Trust TV, the television broadcasting arm of Media Trust Group, following a social media post where he criticized alleged human rights violations against youths in the state.

Mabai’s arrest was first reported by an X user, Edrees4P, who highlighted the unjust detainment and alleged human rights abuses by Hisbah.

Handle Edrees4P, stated, “Hisbah in Katsina arrested a journalist @jaymb000 over his post on Facebook criticizing their unjust detainment and human rights violations against youth in the state.

“Jamilu is a reporter for Trust Tv in Katsina. Remember, journalism is not a crime.”

Mabai confirmed his arrest via X on Wednesday morning, detailing that he had visited the Hisbah office to interview the Public Relations Officer (PRO) regarding a recent incident where a DJ was shot by Hisbah officials. Instead, he was detained.

He stated, “How I was detained by Katsina Hisbah officials when I visited their office to conduct a follow up interview with the PRO.

“Hisbah, has banned the activities of DJs at events in Katsina. Last week Friday, Mallam Gambo, a resident of Katsina died from a gunshot wound sustained while Hisbah officials were trying to shut down a wedding with a DJ. The shots were fired by an operative of the Community Watch Corp tasked with defending communities against bandits.

“Following this incident, I contacted the Katsina Hisbah Public Relations Officer (PRO) to request a follow-up interview regarding Mallam Gambo’s death. Upon my arrival at the Hisbah office, I couldn’t find the PRO. Unknown to me, it was a setup.

“Hisbah officers approached me, claiming they were instructed to detain me. Despite explaining that I was a journalist there for an interview, they insisted and confiscated my phone before holding me in a cell.

“Later, I was brought before the commandant’s office. He threatened me, he said “I am fighting with religion and there is nothing I or anybody can do against the activities of Hisbah”. After an hour, I was released. The entire ordeal raises serious concerns. I informed them that detaining a journalist on their premises without a reason or opportunity to provide a statement is a clear violation of press freedom,” he added.

Mabai is known for his reporting on human rights infringements, aiming to seek justice for victims.

READ ALSO: This Move Must be Halted, Another Attempt to Perpetrate Illegality — Atiku Knocks Tinubu’s Govt Plans to Deduct N20trn From Pension Funds

On December 12, 2023, Mabai pinned his work titled “Sex for Survival | Boko Haram Victim’s Silent suffering Amidst Exploitation in Katsina by security personnel.

“Displaced by Boko Haram from Maiduguri, exploited by Security Personnel in Katsina.

“This is the story of resilience and the quest for survival.”

This incident is part of a troubling trend in Nigeria, where journalists face increasing crackdowns.

Recently, Daniel Ojukwu, a reporter for the Foundation of Investigative Journalism, was arrested in Lagos and flown to Abuja. He was released after 10 days due to media and rights activists’ intervention.

Follow the Parallel Facts channel on WhatsApp: