By Ed Malik, A | November 29, 2022
The arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention of an undergraduate of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Aminu Adamu, on the orders of the wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been described by HURIWA as the apogee of executive high-handedness and a fundamental assault on our psyche as a democratic nation.
Prominent civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), in a Press Statement by its National Coordinator on Tuesday, described the action of the wife of Mrs. Aisha Buhari, as abuse of power and absolutely unconstitutional, and demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the youngster from unlawful detention.
HURIWA is of the studied contention that the present Buhari-led government has consistently deployed security assets and manpower to monitor social media gossips and eavesdropping on telephone conversations of Nigerians, suggesting this could be one of the reasons that the security personnel are not able to defeat the bandits operating all over the country because they have become so used to soft targeting of unarmed civilians instead of hard confrontable campaigns against enemies of the land.
HURIWA recalled that an undergraduate of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, Aminu Adamu, has been languishing in detention after security officials comprising the police and men of the Department of State Service, arrested him over a post on Twitter in June 2022, alleging that the wife of the President, Aisha, was feeding fat on poor people’s money.
The tweet, which was posted in Hausa reads: “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi” was accompanied by a photograph of Mrs. Buhari, loosely translates as “Mama has eaten poor people’s money and is now full”.
HURIWA quoting media report said that Aminu’s uncle, Shehu Azare, in an interview published by BBC Hausa on Monday, said the victim’s father, Mallam Ádámù, was not aware of his arrest until about five days later.
HURIWA recalled that the uncle said, “His father did not know about his arrest. It was five days later that one of Mallam Ádámù’s friends called and told him that his son had not been seen in school for about five days. That was last Monday. Then a day after, Aminu called his father and told him what was happening, that he was arrested and taken to Aso Rock by the wife of the President, Muhammad Buhari, beaten, arrested and detained somewhere. It was a security agent that gave him a phone and told him to tell his parents. Later on, Adamu explained more to me that the school authority called him and told him that it had no knowledge of the incident before, but now they have information on his arrest.”
HURIWA regretted that the arrest of the student occurred as he was about to sit for his final exams in school when his whereabouts became unknown to his family, an action the Rights group categorized as absolutely unlawful and criminal.
Reacting to this development and the secretive manner of his arrest which is not different from the modality of kidnappers, HURIWA condemns the action of the Police for secretly arresting the student like kidnappers without the due process of the law being observed as clearly spelt out in the Police Act of 2020.
The police Act of 2020 makes it mandatory on the police officer or any other person authorized to effect an arrest to inform the suspect his rights to: i . Remain silent or avoid answering any question until after consultation with a legal practitioner or any other person of his own choice. See Sec. 35(2)(a). ii. Consult a legal practitioner of his own choice before making, endorsing or writing any statement or answering any question put to him after the arrest. See Sec. 35(2)(b) iii. Free legal representation by the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria or other organizations where applicable. See Sec. 35(2)(c).
The Rights group accused the arresting police officers of breaching the extant police Act which also makes it mandatory on the Police to notify the next of kin or relative(s) of the suspect immediately after the arrest of the suspect. See Sec. 35(3).
HURIWA has therefore asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the Inspector-General of Police to immediately release the Student kidnapped by them just for expressing his opinion which is protected under Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. HURIWA accused the Wife of the President of playing goddess because it is inconceivable that she could order the arrest of someone for spreading something that is not too far from mere beer parlour gossip.