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‘Thug’ beats up Journalist inside Adamawa Govt House

Hamidu Mukhtari, a suspected political thug popularly known as Dogo (pictured), has molested a journalist inside Adamawa State government House in Yola.

The journalist, Ibrahim Mista Ali, was said to have been attacked after criticising the state governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri.

Ali was on official duty to cover a press briefing by the Secretary to the Government, Awwal Tukur, when he was manhandled by Dogo,  who had on two previous occasions threatened to deal with him for publishing unfavorable materials.

“He slapped me, punched me twice and then dragged me by the neck in the presence of security personnel who then intervened and pleaded with him to release me. He had threatened to deal with me for covering the opposition”, the journalist stated.

Dogo is believed to have led several attacks against perceived enemies of the governor.

He has a pending case with the NDLEA and has been on administrative bail since 2021 after he was apprehended with large amount of cannabis in his house.

Confirming the arrest to journalists, the then NDLEA state commander, Muhammed Bello, said Dogo was found with 166 kg of cannabis sativa and would be charged to court.

“We have one Dogo whom we arrested on Sunday 16, 2021 with 166 kg of cannabis sativa,” he had said

“We have released him on bail because the courts are not sitting now and the man has met all the bail conditions”, the commander added..

The suspected thug, who wields enormous influence, was allegedly involved  in the abduction and humiliation of a senior official of the Department of Security Service (DSS), Halilu Musa, as well a senior INEC commissioner, Professor Zuru, in the violence that greeted the last governorship supplementary election in April.

“He was among those who put a knife to the throat of the DSS’ head of operation. They also humiliated the INEC national commissioner, yet he is here roaming the streets free and carrying out violent attacks on citizens when the federal government is funding security agencies to protect Nigerians. This is a man believed to be Chadian. This is a threat to our security”, a source at the government house said.

The source added that the thug was made so untouchable that he was feared by even security operatives attached to the government house and can walk in to any office without respect to protocol, saying he once attacked a senior government official.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state reportedly created the office of the Director Youths Mobilisation for Dogo to placate him after his bid to become youth leader was met with stiff resistance by a section of the party.

When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Humwashi Wonosiko,u declined comment on the matter, saying it had nothing to do with the government as it was a quarrel between two persons.