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US Watchlist: Isa Pantami Threatens Lawsuit Against News Outlet Over Publication

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Dr Isa Ali Pantami

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, has threatened legal action against “major publishers” that published a story claiming that the US government had placed him on a security watchlist over alleged terror links.

The minister stated this Monday while reacting to a retraction by an online news medium which initially republished the story published by a national daily but pulled it down following what it called an “independent investigation”.

The national daily claimed in the story published on Sunday that the minister had been placed on a US government security watchlist and could be arrested if he set fought on US soil over his alleged links with terrorist organisations.

The newspaper further claimed that before his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, Pantami, who is an Islamic preacher, “held what was termed ‘dangerous views’ against the American govern­ment with allegiance to Al-Qaeda.”

He was also said to have befriended founder of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, and the duo “allegedly shared jihad­ist doctrines”.

Reacting, Pantami berated the online news medium for conducting an investigation on the veracity of the story after republishing it and not before, saying such contravened best practices in the journalism profession.

“Further, major publishers will meet my lawyers in the court on this defamation of character,” the minister said.

“My

lectures against the doctrines and all other evil people have been available for over 15 years, including debates that endangered my life against many criminals in Nigeria. If you can’t understand Hausa, get an objective Hausa speaker to translate for you objectively.”

He vowed that there was no going on the policy mandating synchronisation of SIM cards with the National Identity Number (NIN).

“On the issue of NIN-SIM Verification to fight insecurity, there is no going back. Our priority as GOVERNMENT based on the provision of our constitution 1999 (as amended) Section 14(2)b is SECURITY, not just economy. For sure, no going back at all.

“Let’s the sponsors continue.

“FYI (For Your Information) all, by the Almighty, no amount of intimation will stop
@IsaPantami from implementing the good policies of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on security.

“FINALLY: If you are yet to verify your SIM using NIN, do it very soon, before our next action. Criminals are feeling the heat.”

Lady Decency
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