Aisha bows to pressure, withdraws lawsuit against internet critic

President’s wife Aisha Buhari dropped case against Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Aminu Mohammed final year student, following pressure and convictions by activists, Amnesty International, National Association of Nigerian Students and other Nigerians.

Prosecution attorney Fidelis Ogbobe, while withdrawing the case on behalf of Ms Buhari, said the president’s wife, being the mother of the nation, decided to withdraw the case following the intervention of “well-meaning Nigerians ”.

Moving a motion to drop the case, Ogbobe cited section 108(2)(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act. Judge Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court commended Ms. Buhari for withdrawing the case.

Halilu, while issuing the release warrant, urged parents to always monitor their children to avoid recurrence

The 24-year-old student had told Hausa that the president’s wife “fed money on the money of the poor.” It was reported that he was transferred from Bauchi to Abuja on Aisha’s command and locked up.

Muhammad’s uncle Shebu Azare said in an interview published by BBC Hausa on Monday that the victim’s father, Mallam Adamu, was unaware of his son’s arrest until five days later, when the matter had settled. intensified.

The issue had also generated a lot of 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 Dutse Federal University on Nov. 18, 2022, after the president’s wife assigned a team of police detectives to track him down.

The Presidency 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 facility noticed a heavy presence of security officers, with a sign, “No Visiting”, at the entrance.

A security officer said so PUNCH Saturday that there was a presidential order banning any form of visits after Muhammed’s arrival at the facility.

“We can’t let you into the facility. No one is allowed to see Aminu. In fact, since he was hospitalized on Tuesday, no one has been allowed to visit the detainees inside 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 student detainee had no food since arriving at the facility on Tuesday, adding that he only had N2,000 with him which he spent and could not afford to get food as no one was allowed to visit or call him.

The security officer added: “I feel sorry for the boy; he came here with only N2,000, and it’s finished. He complained of hunger today (Thursday), but there was nothing we could do as no one was allowed to visit or call him. This morning he ate only bread.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International Nigeria has condemned Muhammed’s arrest and alleged torture and called for his immediate release.

His director at 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, the first lady of Nigeria, on Twitter.

“It is beyond shameful that the Nigerian authorities arrested and allegedly tortured Aminu Muhammed after he merely tweeted about Nigeria’s first lady. This deeply repressive act blatantly violates her human rights.

“The false allegations against Aminu must be urgently and unconditionally dropped. Instead, the authorities should order an investigation into his illegal detention and abusive treatment. The fact that he was detained incommunicado highlights the widespread impunity enjoyed by the Nigerian authorities.

“Aminu’s final exams are scheduled for December 5, 2022, at the Federal University, Dutse. He must urgently be released and be able to finish his studies ».

On November 29, 2022, Muhammed was charged with cybercrime, cybersquatting, computer forgery, conspiracy and breach of trust.

But Amnesty International noted that although President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retired) ratified the Anti-Torture Act in 2017, torture and other ill-treatment remained pervasive in Nigeria, with police and state security that continue to subject detainees to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

Ojigho added: “Aminu’s heavy mistreatment is a clear attempt to strike fear into the hearts of young Nigerians who are using social media to hold the powerful to account. The Nigerian authorities urgently need to respect and defend the right to freedom of expression.

“Amnesty International is concerned about the growing number of attacks on freedom of expression in Nigeria. Authorities are increasingly using unlawful arrests and ill-treatment to stifle those who criticize the state. This has to 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 university student who they said was languishing in detention after security officials, including police and State Services Department men, arrested him for a post he made on Twitter months ago.

A petition titled “#FreeAminu” was launched on the global change website, change.org, by one Ife David, calling for the student’s unconditional release. The petition, at the time of this report’s submission on Friday, has collected more than 2,000 signatures from Nigerians, calling for the student’s release and an investigation by the president’s wife, Aisha, for what they called an ‘abuse of power’.