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Daughter, group demand fresh probe into journalist’s death

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Nigeria’s foremost media rights group, Journalists for Democratic Rights, and Leshi Bagauda, the youngest daughter of The New Magazine journalist, Kaltho Bagauda, have called for a fresh investigation into the death of the journalist.

Kaltho was a correspondent with The News Magazine, and until now, was believed to have been murdered through a bomb linked to state authorities during the regime of the late General Sanni Abacha.

But while on Arise News on Monday, a medical doctor, Mahdi Shehu said a former United States envoy to Nigeria, Russell
Hanks, had offered him N1 million to plant a bomb at Durbar Hotel in Kaduna to unsettle the Abacha regime, an offer he claimed to have rejected.

He suggested that Hanks might have handed Kaltho the bomb parcel which exploded at Dubar Hotel in Kaduna in 1995.

Reacting to his claims, the group in a statement on Friday by its Executive Director, Adewale Adeoye, said Shehu’s position had added new twist to what has remained an unresolved murder.

He then called on the National Assembly to set up a panel that would begin the investigation afresh.

The statement partly read, “Shehu’s fresh attempt to link the death of Bagauda Kaltho to an official of the United States Embassy has raised fresh concerns not only about the heinous crime committed against the late Kaltho but also against the Nigerian media. This is one issue that should not be allowed without investigation.

“Shehu’s position has added a new twist to what has remained an unresolved murder. He has left many gaps in his story which make his conclusion to appear questionable and therefore calls for further investigations by independent parties so that those responsible for Kaltho’s death will be held accountable based on convincing and incontrovertible evidence.

“We call on the National Assembly to institute a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to investigate Dr Shehu claims so as to know the facts about the murder of Baguada Kaltho.

“JODER calls on the Nigerian Union of Journalists and all media institutions to rise up to the occasion that should help unravel one of the most grievous crimes in the history of the Nigerian media.”

Also, speaking with our correspondent on Friday, the youngest daughter of the late journalist described as disturbing hearing different version of stories about her father’s death.

She also called for a fresh probe into the matter to put to a rest to the speculations about her father’s death.

Leshi said, “The past few days have been disturbing for us. We have had to hear many versions of how my father died 27 years ago. The narratives this time around are different from what we were told then. I believe this is happening because the investigation embarked on then was not concluded.

“This may continue, someone may wake up tomorrow morning and spew out another version if we don’t get to the end of this. There is a need to commence a fresh investigation into the matter. “

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