An Open University student who criticised Katsina state governor Shehu Shema has been arrested and kept away from his family since August
It has been weeks since a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), one Abdulmalik Sa'idu, was arrested on the orders of the Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema, over his social media comment.
According to a Premium Times report, dated 20th of September 2014, Saidu landed in trouble after he posted details of an alleged fertilizer Scam perpetrated in the Shema led administration on his Facebook wall.
He was then invited to the Katsina Government House on 28th of August where he was promptly arrested.
"But when Abdulmalik arrived at the governor’s office, he was promptly arrested, handcuffed and taken to Batagarawa Police Station just outside the state capital, Katsina, and detained on the orders of Mr. Shema’s aide-de-camp, Shehu Koko, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP," Premium times reports.
Interestingly, Saidu has not been formally charged with any offence but was accused of impersonating, cloning the governor's phone number to defraud the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affair, Sani Makana, of the sum of N3m.
But the allegation has not been proven and Saidu's father told Premium Times that his son is being framed.
“I think they are trying to frame him. I know my son cannot clone the governor’s number and call a commissioner to put three million into his account,” he said.
To make matters worse, the student has since been kept away from his family, and even the police has refused to offer any information on his whereabouts.
“For the first week they used to bring him out to me. He would eat in front of me and they would take him back to the cell but for more than 12 days now, we have not seen him. They told me that they have a directive from above not to bring him to me,” the distraught father said.
“The DPO (Divisional Police Officer) told me they have a directive from the Government House not to bring him out for his family or anybody in Katsina to see him.”
The family's lawyer, Akin Ajayi, has reportedly threatened to take the issue to National Human Rights Commission and the Inspector General of Police.
Let Him Go
News of Saidu's arrest has been all over the media with many people questioning the circumstances of his arrest.
Writing to Student Pulse from Katsina Local Government Council Area of Katsina state, Abdulbaq Aliyu Jari Katsina, called for the immediate release of the student.
"I call on the authorities involved to please release Abdulmalik Sa'idu from custody.
"Investigate his claims and take necessary action," Jari wrote.
"It is sad and unfortunate that in Nigeria, a person occupying the esteem office of governor will come down so low to mind each and every criticism he receive from his subject not minding the legality of the action and its consequences..
Meanwhile, Saidu remains in custody, isolated from all members of his family.
It will be recalled that in August, Governor Shema was accused of rejecting the newly elected President of the National Association of Katsina State Students (NAKATSS), Abdulrahman Salihu Maska, whose father is an opposition party chieftain.