The president’s wife, Aisha Buhari, has withdrawn her complaint against a final-year student at Federal University of Dutse in Jigawa State, Aminu Mohammed, following pressure and condemnation from activists, Amnesty International, the National Association of Nigerian Students and other Nigerians.
Prosecution lawyer Fidelis Ogbobe while withdrawing the case on behalf of Ms Buhari said that the President’s wife, being the mother of the nation, decided to withdraw the case following the intervention by “well-meaning Nigerians”.
Filing a motion to withdraw from the case, Ogbobe cited section 108(2)(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. Judge Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory praised Ms Buhari for withdrawing the case.
Halilu, when issuing the release warrant, called on parents to always watch their children to prevent this from happening again
The 24-year-old student had alleged in Hausa that the president’s wife was “feeding on fat on poor people’s money”. It was reported that he was moved from Bauchi to Abuja on Aisha’s order and locked up.
Muhammad’s uncle, Shebu Azare, had in an interview published by BBC Hausa on Monday said that the victim’s father, Mallam Adamu, did not know of his son’s arrest until five days later. when things got worse.
The case had also drawn widespread backlash, with prominent Nigerians including African Action Congress presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore and other human rights activists calling for the student’s release.
According to a police report, Muhammed was arrested at the Federal University of Dutse on November 18, 2022, after the president’s wife ordered a team of police detectives to find him.
The presidency had also banned visitors from visiting inmates at the Suleja Correctional Center in Niger State following Aminu’s arrest.
One of our correspondents who visited the establishment observed a strong presence of security guards, with a “No visit” sign at the entrance.
A security guard said Saturday PUNCH that there was an order from the Presidency prohibiting any form of visitation after Muhammed arrived at the establishment.
“We can’t let you into the facility. No one is allowed to see Aminu. In fact, since he was brought in on Tuesday, no one has been allowed to visit the inmates at the facility. You can read the note on the wall, no visits are allowed and I don’t want to lose my job,” he told one of our correspondents.
The officer, however, noted that the detained student had been short of food since arriving at the facility on Tuesday, adding that he only had 2,000 naira on him and could not afford food. food as no one was allowed to visit or call. him.
The security guard added, “I feel sorry for the boy; he arrived here with only 2,000 naira, and it’s over. He complained of being hungry today (Thursday) but we couldn’t do anything as no one was allowed to visit or call him. He only ate bread this morning.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International Nigeria has condemned Muhammed’s arrest and allegations of torture and called for his immediate release.
His Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said: “The Nigerian authorities must urgently release Aminu Muhammed and drop all charges against him. He is a student accused of defaming Aisha Buhari, Nigeria’s first lady, on Twitter.
“It is beyond shame that the Nigerian authorities have arrested and allegedly tortured Aminu Muhammed after he simply tweeted about Nigeria’s first lady. This deeply repressive act brazenly violates his human rights.
“The false charges against Aminu must be dropped urgently and unconditionally. The authorities should instead order an investigation into his unlawful detention and abusive treatment. The fact that he was held incommunicado highlights the endemic impunity enjoyed by the Nigerian authorities.
“Aminu’s final exams are scheduled for December 5, 2022 at the Federal University of Dutse. He must be released urgently and be able to complete his studies.
On November 29, 2022, Muhammed was charged with cybercrime, cybersquatting, computer tampering, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
But Amnesty International noted that although the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired) signed the Anti-Torture Act in 2017, torture and other ill-treatment remained pervasive in Nigeria, police and officers of state security continuing to subject detainees to torture and torture. other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Ojigho added, “The mistreatment of Aminu is a clear attempt to strike fear into the hearts of young Nigerians who use social media to hold the powerful to account. Nigerian authorities must urgently respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression.
“Amnesty International is concerned about the growing number of attacks on freedom of expression in Nigeria. Authorities have increasingly resorted to unlawful arrests and ill-treatment to stifle critics of the state. This must stop now.
Over 2,000 Nigerians sign petition for critic’s release
However, more than 2,000 Nigerians have signed a petition calling for the release of the detained student who they say was languishing in custody after some security officials, including police and men from the Department of State Services, l arrested for a message he posted on Twitter. months ago.
A petition titled “#FreeAminu” has been started on the global change website, change.org, by one Ife David, demanding the student’s unconditional release. The petition had, at the time of filing this report on Friday, garnered more than 2,000 signatures from Nigerians, calling for the release of the student and an investigation into the president’s wife, Aisha, for what they said of ‘Abuse of Power’.
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