The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has reported a newspaper, Daily Independent, to the Department of State Services, the Nigeria Police Force and the National Intelligence Agency over a report that he had been placed on the United States terrorist watch list.
In a letter signed by his lawyer, Michael Jonathan dated April 12, 2021 and addressed to Daily Independent, the minister copied the DSS, the police and the NIA.
Pantami demanded a retraction and an apology from the newspaper, describing the allegations as false.
The minister, who is an Islamic cleric, has been trending on social media since the report went viral on Monday.
In an old video which recently went viral, Pantami is seen debating with Boko Haram founder, Mohammed Yusuf, in Hausa.
The video also helped propel the narrative that he indeed had links with Boko Haram, an allegation he has denied.
In the letter addressed to Daily Independent as well as security agencies, Pantami stated that he had authored more than a dozen books and he was a respected cleric.
The letter read in part, “It is on record that our client was among the first scholars to engage the late Boko Haram leader, Muhammad Yusuf, in a public debate to challenge doctrinal teachings as being entirely antithetical to Islam doctrine.
“In fact, his televised debate with the late Yusuf has been one of the reference points often used to fight those who want to skew Islam in order to lend credibility to terrorism in Nigeria.”
The minister further stated that he had been targeted for assassination by Boko Haram.