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Aminu Adamu charged with ‘criminal defamation’ over first lady tweet

Mr Adamu may spend up to two years in prison if found guilty under Nigerian law.

Student sent to prison for allegedly abusing Aisha Buhari.

The lawyer for a Nigerian student facing allegations of defaming the wife of the state’s president over an insulting tweet said his client appeared in a criminal court in Abuja on Thursday, December 01, 2022.

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What happened: Aminu Adamu, a 1998-year-old student at the Federal University of Dutse in northern Nigeria, was arrested on November 18 and transferred to Abuja five months after posting the message in which he commented on the physical appearance of First Lady Aisha Buhari and criticised her for “eating the money of the poor,” according to court documents sighted by newsmen.

His arrest, which Amnesty International roundly criticised, came after the president’s wife filed a complaint, according to a source in the judicial system.

On Tuesday, November 29, 2022, the young man “was hauled before a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Magistrate’s Court,” his lawyer Chijioke Agu told reporters. He said, “The charge is defamation.”

What you should know: Mr Adamu may spend up to two years in prison if found guilty under Nigerian law.

Adamu's arrest also comes at a time where he is sitting for his final exams in university.

What Adamu's legal team is working on: Agu claimed he had requested bail for his client, who is being held in Suleja jail to the northwest of Abuja, and that the hearing had been postponed until January 30.

What happened in court: According to court records, the student agreed to posting the offensive tweet, which featured a photo of Mrs Buhari and a statement written in Hausa, the language most often used in northern Nigeria.

According to a statement released by Amnesty International, Adamu’s family and relatives alleged he has been beaten, tortured, and otherwise mistreated.

An “illegal arrest” was also condemned by Amnesty, which demanded his immediate and unconditional release.

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