October 25, 2011 - Updated on January 20, 2016

TV journalist shot dead in northern city, Islamist group claims responsibility

Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the fatal shooting of Zakariya Isa, a reporter and cameraman for the state-owned Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), in Maiduguri, the capital of the northeastern state of Borno, on 22 October. His murder has been claimed by Boko Haram, an armed Islamist movement operating in northern Nigeria.

Isa was shot several times in the head and chest outside his home at around 7:30 p.m. after attending a mosque. In a statement yesterday claiming responsibility for the murder, Boko Haram spokesman Abul Qaqa accused Isa of being an informant for the Nigerian security agencies. This was disputed by both Isa’s colleagues and the intelligence services.

Reporters Without Borders urges investigators not to rule out the possibility that Isa was killed in connection with his work as a journalist.

Boko Haram, whose goal is to impose the Sharia in northern Nigeria, threatened to attack news media in September if they misrepresented its activities. Sale Mahdi, the news manager of the local NTA station, said three of its journalists received threatening SMS messages telling them to leave region.

Some have also reportedly been harassed by the security forces in connection with their coverage of Boko Haram.

Boko Haram is blamed for many shooting attacks on leading figures in northern Nigeria this year as well as a car-bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja on 26 August that killed 23 people.

Photo: NTA logo.