Nigeria’s main media rights group, Journalists for Democratic Rights, and Leshi Bagauda, the youngest daughter of The New Magazine journalist Kaltho Bagauda, have called for a new investigation into the journalist’s death.
Kaltho was a correspondent at The news magazinee, and until now, was believed to have been killed by a bomb linked to state authorities during the regime of the late General Sanni Abacha.
But speaking to Arise News on Monday, a doctor named Mahdi Shehu, a former US envoy to Nigeria, said Russell
Hanks, had offered him N1 million to plant a bomb at the Durbar Hotel in Kaduna to disrupt the Abacha regime, an offer he claimed to have turned down.
He suggested that Hanks Kaltho may have handed over the bomb package that exploded at the Dubar Hotel in Kaduna in 1995.
Responding to his claims, the group said in a statement from its executive director, Adewale Adeoye, on Friday that Shehu’s position had given a new twist to what has remained an unsolved murder.
He then called on the National Assembly to create a panel that would restart the investigation.
The statement read in part: “Shehu’s new attempt to link Bagauda Kaltho’s death to a US embassy official has raised new concerns not only about the horrific crime committed against the late Kaltho, but also the Nigerian media. . This is a problem that should not be allowed without research.
“Shehu’s position has put a new spin on what has remained an unsolved murder. He has left many gaps in his story that make his conclusion appear questionable and therefore calls for further independent investigation so that those responsible for Kaltho’s death are held accountable on the basis of compelling and irrefutable evidence.
“We call on the National Assembly to establish a judicial panel of inquiry to investigate Dr. Shehu to know the facts about Baguada Kaltho’s murder.
“JODER calls on the Nigerian Union of Journalists and all media institutions to stand up for the opportunity to help unravel one of the most serious crimes in the history of Nigerian media.”
Also, in a conversation with our correspondent on Friday, the late journalist’s youngest daughter described it as disturbing to hear different versions of stories about her father’s death.
She also called for a new investigation into the case to end speculation 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 stories this time are different from what we were told then. I think this is happening because the investigation started then was not completed.
“This can go on, someone can wake up in the morning and spit out another version if we don’t get to the end here. A new investigation into the case should be launched. “