The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has dismissed as untrue, the alleged assassination plan Ahmed Isa, the Berekete Family show anchor, said was planned against him by the outfit and its reporter, Peter Nkanga, including some unnamed persons.
It also said it stood by Mr Nkanga, ‘and journalism’ over a documentary it recently released, which showed the popular Nigerian broadcaster hitting an interviewee during his show.
The BBC had apparently been given access to the show so as to give readers an insight into the activities of Mr Isah, popularly known as ‘Ordinary President’, who is known for his human rights advocacy for the less privileged members of the Nigerian society.
The relationship turned ugly when the BBC later aired the documentary on Mr Isah’s human rights advocacy but also showed him hitting an interviewee during his show.
The controversy had deepened later when Mr Isah, in a subsequent show accused the outfit, Mr Nkanga and some unnamed persons of planning to kill him
“The BBC stands by its reporters and journalism. We strongly refute these absurd allegations made by Ahmad Isa(h) that we were involved in an ‘assassination’ attempt. Since the BBC investigation exposed Ahmad’s conduct he has apologised for his assault on the woman in the film. BBC Africa Eye is valued as a trustworthy and impartial source of news across the region and we will continue to hold power to account,” the organisation wrote to PREMIUM TIMES in a response to the allegations that Mr Nkanga and the ‘BBC crew’ planned with unnamed persons to eliminate Mr Isah.
Efforts to reach Mr Nkanga earlier to get his reactions to the controversy have been unsuccessful as he did not pick his calls or respond to messages.
Mr Isah came under public scrutiny after a BBC documentary which premiered on May 17, 2021, showed him losing control and slapping a lady identified as Susan.
Susan was accused of burning her little niece’s hair whom she claimed is a witch. From the documentary, the little girl suffered burns on her head.
After a public outcry, Mr Isah on Wednesday morning during the show apologised to Nigerians for his violent reaction. He was joined by several listeners, some of whom called in to apologise on his behalf.
Meanwhile, while apologising on the Brekete show, Mr Isah accused some unnamed persons, whom he said was being aided by Mr Nkanga and ‘his BBC’ crew of “plotting to kill him”.
Mr Isah, who did not provide any evidence, said someone called to warn him not to visit Anambra to follow up on an investigation mentioned in the documentary “as there were plans to attack him”.
According to him, “… I got a security call from someone in Anambra asking me not to come, that the people who were ‘pressuring’ me had planned to kill me…”
In the documentary, Mr Isah said the warning made him abandon the plan to visit Anambra. He also said he became suspicious when Mr Nkanga appeared to be unusually interested in the Anambra investigation.
Mr Isah was referring to a story of eight young boys who were allegedly abducted from their homes in Anambra State 20 years ago by a ex-senator of Anambra North.
According to the BBC documentary, “these boys were taken from their homes for allegedly throwing fireworks at the ex-senator who responded by sending vigilantes to round them and since 2001, no one has seen them”.
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