Nigerian blogger detained for five days

jamil-mabai

A Nigerian blogger on Thursday spent his fourth night in detention for writing a controversial blog post.

Jamil Mabai, a blogger based in the Northwestern state of Katsina, was arrested by officers of the Nigerian Police Force on Monday in Kaduna.

The blogger is a known critic of the Katsina administration led by Aminu Masari on his blog, Cliqq Magazine.

A Magistrate Court in Katsina on Thursday declined jurisdiction to try him. The judge instead asked that he be further detained.

Mr. Mabai’s arrest is believed to have been ordered by the governor, a claim the latter’s spokesperson denied.

A family friend of Mr. Mabai told PREMIUM TIMES that the governor was not happy with his recent post condemning the recent purchase of 3000 metal coffins for distribution to Mosques in the state.

Mr. Mabai said by purchasing the coffins, Mr. Masari is simply saying “Katsina people deserve to die”.

He also questioned the rationale behind buying the coffins at N40,000 each at a time the government was unable to pay civil servants outstanding arrears of salaries.

Writing via his tweeter handle, @jaymb000 Mr. Mabai said, “What have we done to deserve this? Why will a Gov. Purchase coffins with public money?”

Photo credit: benzems042.blogspot.com
Photo credit: benzems042.blogspot.com

Our source on Thursday said Mr. Mabai was arrested on Monday in Kaduna where he had gone to celebrate the Eid el kabir Sallah celebration.

“The Police followed him from Katsina to Kaduna and arrested him there,” he said.

He also said “when they picked him up, they first took him to Unguwan Sanusi police station before they proceeded to Kankara local government and finally Katsina town”.

Friends and relatives of the blogger were apprehensive of his whereabouts, until the Police finally charged him to court on Thursday.

Mr. Mabai himself posted a tweet on his handle to say ” Finally they have taken us to court at GRA including one other Social Media activist, Bishir Dauda”.

Our source confirmed that the blogger was taken to the Magistrate Court Number 1, at the GRA.

He said “as soon as the matter was announced, the judge said he cannot entertain the matter for lack of jurisdiction”.

He said the judge ordered that the accused be taken to prison pending when he would be arraigned at a separate court.

“However, by the time the court made the pronouncement, it was too late to take them to the prison. They were, therefore, taken to the GRA Police station in Katsina, after which they would be taken to prison tomorrow,” he said.

Efforts to speak with the spokesperson of the Police in Katsina, Salisu Agaida, were unsuccessful as his phone line could not be reached.

It is not clear if the police will arraign Mr. Mabai before a proper court on Friday.

WHY WE ARRESTED

However, media reports had quoted the state Commissioner of Police, Usman Abdullahi, explaining why the blogger was arrested.

Mr. Abdullahi said Mr. Mabai was detained for posting tweets to say the government bought the coffins because it wanted people to die.
“The state government complained that Jamil wrote that it had bought 3,000 coffins and distributed to mosques and may be it wanted Katsina people to die.

“Any reasonable person will ask one or two questions. This is why we had to invite him to assist the police,” he said.

When contacted, the spokesperson to Mr. Masari, Abdu Labaran, denied that the state reported the blogger to the police.

“To the best of my knowledge, the state government did not complain about any blogger to anybody. Unless it is done without my knowledge,” he said.

Mr. Labaran also said he spent the whole day with the governor on Thursday and “no mention was made of the arrest or arraignment of anyone on the orders of the governor.”

GOING AFTER BLOGGERS

Also arraigned alongside Mr. Mabai are Bashir Dauda and Umar Faruq. They were all accused of writing about the story with the intent to cause civil disturbance and expose Mr. Masari to public ridicule.

Their arrest and arraignment is coming on the heels of the arrest and detention two weeks ago of another blogger, Emenike Iroegbu, on the orders of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.

Mr. Iroegbu who publishes Abia Facts Newspaper was accused of defaming Mr. Ikpeazu.

He allegedly published a story accusing the governor of burying a 9-year-old boy in the government House, Umuahia.

In the same vein, another blogger, Abubakar Usman, who publishes abusidiqu.com was recently arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Comkission, EFCC, who accused him of “cyber stalking”.

Mr. Usman was released after much public condemnation.

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  • Babrutus

    Why them go dey talk anyha na.?

  • Realitytalk

    it will serve as an example to others that write rubbish all around

  • dami

    He is allowed his opinion naa?….and really why are you buying coffins as gratis when you have civil servants you have not yet paid and owing contractors etc…abi e no reach to talk?

    and the civil servants he was / is speaking up for are all quiet…shoo!?!

  • Jayjay

    But this is very strange that in a country that belongs to all of us, some are allowed to walk upon the rest without the right to even complain.

    Why should the State government buy coffins in the first place? Has it sent out poisons to reduce the population? Was the man employed by the people to buy their coffins? Dis he go through the normal procurement process of putting public advertisement and the rest of it before buying coffins? Is it coffins that the people need at this time or jobs? Could he have used the money used to buy 3,000 coffins to set up a coffin manufacturing company that could possibly employ more youths?

    This governor is an irrate man and his type is not needed in a civilized world. And the judge that helps him clean his ass should be ashamed of himself.

    Police, don’t you have jobs to do any more? Is the man a threat to the community? Is he a thief, robber, fraudulent individual? NO!!

    You left terrible people like Diezianie and others enjoying their loot and hove around and threaten innocent peace loving citizens?

    You have derailed NPF

    • separation is the answer-

      Did your EFCC invite the former first lady before Magus arranged with Sky Bank to sateal her money—————In Nigeria those in power most especially the Fulani and Yorubas are law unto themselves————————That is why we call for separation

  • Bigtin

    Changii=Police State!

    • Burning Spear

      When the Fulanis are in power the only Zone that often smile are those from Sokoto state and Sudan—The rest Nigerian mourn and bemoan their fate ibn the hands of the Fulani Tuaregs from Mali—let my people go

      • Höly Wähala

        Moron, the man that was arrested is also a Fulani from Buhari’s own Katsina State so stop this your useless ethnic stoking of tensions, Dumbo is gone forever… lick your wounds. Drunkard!

        • Burning Spear

          Did Buhari not over throw Shagari a fellow Fulani from Sudan–aware Bingo Buhari is from Niger Republic—————But both are Fulanis——-from the same Tuareg roots in North Africa——-?——————Do the Osus in Ibo land claim they are no longer Osus———————–because of the fair color of their Skins?————————–? When the Fulanis ati Yorubas are in Power the masses mourn and moan—————-

          • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

            Do people really read the rubbish you post ? I often try but it hardly makes sense, can’t you write proper English ?

  • Gabriel Olasebikan

    Police State kawai……

    • vagabonds in power

      Yet the mumu Nigerians from the Old Regions of 9ja- helped the CIA to impose such a Monster on us–from his adopted state–Katsina-Separation is the only way out——————–not the rule of the Fulanis from Mali and Yorubas from Togo ati Republic of Benin again———————————-

  • Höly Wähala

    Look at why he is being persecuted, for asking why a Governor (or any sane person) would buy “metal coffins” rather than use scarce resources to pay employee salaries… Are Muslims not supposed to be buried within 24hrs of death? Preserving corpses in cold metal coffins is insane, irrational and outrageously wasteful at this times of harsh economic recession. I will keep reiterating it… “Nigeria’s criminal justice system is by itself, criminal.” Prosecuting citizens for dog names, for asking valid questions, and sundry and silly reasons is crass and primitive democracy also known as, Law of The Jungle… Nigeria is a jungle!

    • Ibo manu—na now u dey know

      Drafted on March 29,1984, Decree No. 4 was the most dreaded, most repressive and the last press law enacted in Nigeria. It was promulgated during the military regime of Major General Buhari which did not take kindly to press criticisms.

      The law was drafted to punish authors of false statements and reports that exposed the Buhari administration and or its officials to ridicule or contempt.

      Section 1, sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iii) of the law – the most formidable section – provided that:

      Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message,rumour, report or statement, being a message, rumour, statement or report which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offence under this Decree.

    • Julius

      Na wa ooo !

  • Ibo manu na now u dey know

    Drafted on March 29,1984, Decree No. 4 was the most dreaded, most repressive and the last press law enacted in Nigeria. It was promulgated during the military regime of Major General Buhari which did not take kindly to press criticisms.

    The law was drafted to punish authors of false statements and reports that exposed the Buhari administration and or its officials to ridicule or contempt.

    Section 1, sub-sections (i), (ii) and (iii) of the law – the most formidable section – provided that:

    Any person who publishes in any form, whether written or otherwise, any message,rumour, report or statement, being a message, rumour, statement or report which is false in any material particular or which brings or is calculated to bring the Federal Military Government or the Government of a state or public officer to ridicule or disrepute, shall be guilty of an offence under this Decree.—————————

  • evidence

    This is reminiscent of Buhari’s decree 4. ‎

  • Julius

    This is unbelievable. A governor buying coffins while salaries are not being paid? What kind of people do we have as leaders in this country ? This dude ought to hire Falana and sue the governor.

    • blueeyedkitten

      and you just believed the story? how do know salaries have not been paid?

      • Julius

        Yes, I do. The blogger said the same thing. Are you serious ?

        • blueeyedkitten

          you believed the blogger hook line and sinker? good for you then. if you’re assigned as a judge, listen to one side then take your decision; but we know there’re two sides to this kind of story.
          and why you asking me that?

      • If you live in Nigeria, you would know that a lot of public servants have not been paid for months now so what exactly is your argument?

    • Iskacountryman

      coffins are an integral way of life…

      • Julius

        So, you would rather get your salary paid in coffins than with Nairas ?. Eating food is an integral way of life. Isnt it ?

        • Iskacountryman

          nope…food is a luxury…

          • Julius

            lolz, you dey craze. You know damn well thats not true.

          • Iskacountryman

            if you are presented with a virgin and food and told to consume one, which will you choose…think slowly…

          • Julius

            Nope, I dont have to think slowly. Doing virgins is a lot of work and as much as I have been f***ing, I’ll go for the food.

          • Iskacountryman

            you are lazy and unambitious…

  • Olisa Maduka

    The police has no business making any arrest; if there is a case of defamation or libel, the offended party should sue and take the accused to court not get the police to arrest them.

    The Nigerian police are by actions such as these reducing the dignity and honor of their institution, and for the life of me I do not understand why the courts tolerate this. The NPF should be a respected institution that the Nigerian people would not ever hesitate to honor because they trust them (NPF) to maintain order and preserve their rights.

    • blueeyedkitten

      i agree with you.

  • Bashir Isa

    Governor Shema boys in action

  • papazak

    And who called this a democracy? A governor spends state money on coffins, in a civilized country he would be jailed, instead he turns around and jails a blogger, what a country?

  • GusO

    Does the governor have a qualified legal advisor whom he should consult before impulsively asking the police to arrest a person for blogging how he misused public funds for private religious matters? Do the members of the police force take courses in training institutes on what one can be arrested for? In other words, are they taught what the citizens constitutional rights are? If not, it should immediately be incorporated into their routine training. Blogger Mabai should immediately sue the Governor and the police commissioner after he is released for the violation of his constitutional rights to free speech. He should win the law suits if his story is true.

  • McAlfred Uta

    If former speaker of House of reps. and now Governor Masari of Katsina bought 3000 metal coffins what exactly can be the purpose of purchasing such undignifying product? Do people buy coffin in advance of their death or can coffin be used to alleviate poverty? Is this not the same Governor that allegedly bought goats at astronomical prices and distributed to few women? It is high time political office holders undergo compulsory psychiatric tests. I can’t believe that this is happening in the home state of the President and he is keeping quiet.

  • olu

    I hope the Katsina governor will render apology to the people of his state ‘for wishing them dead’ if the blog by Mabai were to be believed. In any case when has Muslim body laid in a coffin. I think the man (governor) is just cleverly perfecting another avenue to steal state fund.