Embattled singer, Sadiq Zazzabi, helps free 35 prison inmates

Sadiq-Zazzabi

Pro-Kwankwaso Hausa singer, Sadiq Zazzabi says he facilitated the release of 35 inmates who were either wrongly detained in prison or could not meet up with their bail and fine terms.

The award-winning singer who was detained for seven days at a Kano prison for allegedly violating the Kano State Censorship Board Law, disclosed this in a chat with PREMIUM TIMES shortly after his release.

The law states that every song or movie must be screened and approved by the state censorship board before it can be released.

The 33-year-old artiste failed to get the approval of the censorship board before releasing his controversial song, “Maza bayan ka” (All Men Behind You).

“While I was in detention, I met many prisoners who were wrongly detained and some could not just afford a simple bail pledge. After I regained my freedom I was determined to make sure such people get their freedom back. I quickly mobilized for their release by paying their fine and bail terms,” he said.

Mr. Sadiq said he got some form of support from his friends and boss Yusuf Bello, a former commissioner in Kano state.

“Many of the inmates only required less that N10,000 to regain their freedom while others were wrongly arrested and detained during a raid by security operatives. One of the victims Ali Mai Shayi, is a tea seller who was wrongly arrested by security operatives during a raid around his tea joint,” he noted.

PREMIUM TIMES spoke with one of the beneficiaries of Sadiq’s benevolence, Manu Sambo, in Kano.

He said, “I am a shoe seller who was also wrongly arrested by security operatives at night on my way to my abode in Gidan Murtala along with other people. We were asked to pay a fine of N5000 before we could be released.

“Some people got their friends and relatives to pay for them while I had nobody to pay for me. I kept praying until God sent Sadiq Zazzabi to help secure my release.”

But the singer told PREMIUM TIMES he was being targeted because of his support for Mr. Kwankwaso. He maintained that he was charged because the song expresses open support for former Kano governor and criticises the incumbent, Umar Ganduje.

The Kano State government has since denied the allegation.

Sadiq said he has since moved although he is still facing trial at a Kano court for the offence.

Sadiq is a talented R&B singer in northern Nigeria who is popular for his songs about love, social issues and politics.

He was taken to court in the city of Kano on a two-count charge of releasing a song which the prosecutor described as “containing immorality by featuring seductive dance(s) by women”.

Kano’s censorship board was set up in 2002 to regulate the city’s booming film and music industry popular among Hausa speakers.

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