Katsina Gov., Shema, orders student detained indefinitely for criticising him on Facebook

A student of the National Open University of Nigeria, Abdulmalik Sa’idu, has been languishing in a police cell for over 20 days on the orders of the Governor of Katsina State, Ibrahim Shema, for posting details of an alleged fertiliser scam in the state on his Facebook timeline.

This was disclosed to PREMIUM TIMES by Mr. Sa’idu’s family and lawyer.

Abdulmalik was first invited to the Katsina Government House on August 28 by a phone caller who claimed he had a message for him.

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.

According to his father, Maiyawo Sa’idu, while the young student was not charged with any offence, he was accused of cloning the governor’s phone number and using same to call the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affair, Sani Makana, with instructions that Mr. Makana deposit N3 million in his account.

Mr. Sa’idu said his son was innocent. He said if indeed Abdulmalik cloned the governor’s number to dupe a commissioner he wouldn’t be tricked to come to the Government House to be arrested.

“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,” Mr. Saidu told PREMIUM TIMES.

He said Abdulmalik was arrested because he posted details of an alleged fertiliser scam by the governor on his Facebook page.

Mr. Saidu said prior to his son’s illegal detention, some officials of the state government had warned his son to desist from criticising the governor on Facebook.

On one occasion, the General Manager of Katsina State Road Maintenance Agency, Jamilu Umar, threatened to pay N2 million to thugs or policemen to kill Abdulmalik if he doesn’t stop criticising the governor publicly, Mr. Saidu said.

Governor Shema’s Chief Press Secretary, Sani Malumfashi, rejected repeated calls made to his mobile phone after this reporter told him he was calling about Abdumalik’s case.

The Saidus’ case comes days after global rights group, Amnesty International, released a damning report accusing the Nigerian police of arbitrarily arresting, torturing and killing thousands of Nigerians without following legal process.

The report accused the police of running “torture chambers” where detainees are abused for money or for confessions.

The police dismissed the allegations as “falsehoods and innuendos” saying the Force does not tolerate torture and that where it occurs, officials responsible are sanctioned.

But Abdulmalik’s arrest points to how widespread arbitrary arrests have remained even for the flimsiest of reasons. Many such arrests are effected on the directives of senior state officials, including governors.

In November 2012, a civil servant in Bauchi State, who questioned the financial integrity of the governor, Isa Yuguda, was immediately dismissed on direct orders of the governor.

In a Facebook post, Abbas Faggo had accused Mr. Yuguda of corruption, questioning the source of funding of the governor’s son’s wedding which took place then.

Mr. Faggo was first suspended, and later arrested by the police. He was eventually arraigned before the Chief Magistrate of the state for the same offence. The judge, Adamu Madaki, struck out the case because “it was not properly filed.”

A letter terminating Mr. Faggo’s appointment, signed by one Ibrahim Shehu for the Head of Service of the State, said his services were no longer needed.

Barely a year after the Bauchi case, the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, ordered the arrest of a businessman, Tonye Okio, for also criticising him on Facebook.

Mr. Okio, who was also a former Abuja Liaison officer for Bayelsa State, was arrested on October 26 at his Abuja residence. He was subsequently blindfolded and driven to Bayelsa by the Special Investigation Bureau, SIB.

The police also stripped Mr. Okio of his mobile gadgets and all postings on his Facebook account about Mr. Dickson were deleted.

Two days after his arrest, the Bayelsa police released a statement that Mr. Okio was arrested for “seditious publications against the Bayelsa governor”.

“This is to inform the general public and the good people of Bayelsa State in particular that the Bayelsa police command has succeeded in apprehending one Tonye Okio ‘M’ of Otiokpoti, Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State for the offence of seditious publications,” the police said in a statement. “The suspects whose syndicate members are now at large will be appropriately arraigned in court when investigation is complete.”

Police detained Mr. Okio for 10 days without trial before his lawyer filed a case at a Bayelsa High Court demanding his fundamental rights be enforce and that he be charged to court if he has indeed done anything wrong.

A day before the case was to be heard, the police charged Mr. Okio before a Magistrate Court for defamatory publication against the Bayelsa governor. After taking his plea, the Magistrate Court adjourned the case to November 21 for trial.

Mr. Okio was eventually released after spending 86 days behind bars.

Katsina family denied access to Abdulmalik 

In Katsina, Mr. Sa’idu said he is worried about the wellbeing of his son after relatives were abruptly stopped from seeing him a week into his being detained.

“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,” he 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.”

Akin Ajayi, a Kaduna based lawyer, who is helping the family on the case, said the DPO of Batagarawa Police Station told him he had order from above not to release Abdulmalik on bail.

“I spoke to the DPO of the Batagarawa Police Station and he said he cannot do anything because it was an order from above,” he said.

Mr. Ajayi said as a lawyer, the governor should realise that he was breaking the law by holding the boy beyond 48 hours on a “frivolous claim.”

“The governor is a lawyer, his deputy is a lawyer and the attorney general is a lawyer and they all know that it is wrongful of them to arrest someone and keep him in detention for more than 48 hours on a frivolous claim that the boy cloned the governor’s number and wanted to collect N3 million and some other concocted allegations which are not proven.

And they now kept the boy incommunicado. His family cannot reach him, and these days because of the security situation in the north, he could be killed,” he added.

Mr. Ajayi warned that if Abdulmalik was not released he was going to send a petition to the National Human Rights Commission and the Inspector General of Police.

The DPO of Batagarawa declined to talk to PREMIUM TIMES after he was asked on whose orders Abdulmalik was being held beyond the 48 hours stipulated by law.

The Police PRO, Abubakar Sadiq, also refused to return several calls after promising to find out the details of the case.


DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: Revealed!!! The Only Way Left of Getting an Extra Large Manhood and also Last Up to 38Mins+. Get the Insider Secret Here


TEXT AD: This NAFDAC APPROVED Solution Will Make You Stay Longer Than 40Mins In Bed Tonight And Help Your Erection. Click Here To Read The Free Reports


All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • Tunsj

    What a country!! The governor is a lawyer and he doesn’t know the meaning of FREE SPEECH.

    • Abubakar

      Did the governor attend a law school to get his degree? He did not. And, that is Nigeria for you.

      • Musty

        Abubakar, one needs not to go to law school to get a degree in law. One only gets qualify to practice as a lawyer or in the bench. You can only get law degree in University

        • True Nigerian

          Musty, Hahahaha! Thank you for the free education o! Lwkm!

        • kkk

          Heh did the governor attend a law school to qualify and practice as a lawyer?

  • Olalere Yusuf

    Authority to oppress. Who will call these governors to order. The last time somebody had the effontry to jail somebody in Ogun State for abusing Governor Amosun on Facebook. So tail or head, the masses are always the looser

  • Larry Basford

    Do the right thing to avoid criticism.

  • Toy

    When it comes to using the police to harass their citizens, these governors have no issue with that but when you tell them to use the same police to provide security for the people in their state, they stay all powers to control the police lies with the presidency. Did this one require a state police to arrest the poor boy? why then does he require state police to ensure the security of the people in his state?

  • kingbaabu

    Shema is a shameless bully and a fraud. He should release the boy. I am going to his facebook page now to criticize him.

  • Thepeople

    These are the kind of reprehensible acts that the citizens of our country have come to expect from these dim wit politicians who are clueless about democracy. This governor would claim to be a democrat. Anybody who knows anything about democracy, let alone a lawyer should know that for effective democracy, there has to be voices of desent or opposition. This detestable governor must without condition release this man or charge him to court. Our politicians without exception are ignorant and a pompus group who are not fit for purpose and need to be re-educated no matter what degrees they claim they have acquired.

  • awesom combk

    Well. If the boy clone phone of the governor no way he will he called to the government house and he dare to go. It’s just a simple scam used by government officials to arrest people indefinitely.

  • Uzoma

    It is when things like this happen that I thank God Goodluck Jonathan is the president of this country, and not one of these thieving governors. How many jailhouses would this country have had to build if Jonathan had the same tendency of having the security services arrest and incarcerate those who disparage him?

    • Ummitah

      U don’t know what u re saying. U forgot or choose to ignore the fact that it is the PDP Governors, the Presidents party that always use the police and army to harass and intimidate perceived opponents. He is the Commander in chief of the armed forces? He therefore cannot be exonerated when the armed forces misbehave as they always do. The credit also goes to him when they behave professionally.

  • awta

    I realy admired this governor and had always hoped he runs for president, that is until this incident. The incident to me shows that he is arrogant and without any sense of moral values. His actions against this innocent young man who has done nothing more than to exercise his God given right to express himself proves this and also proves that the governor is insanely vindictive and insecure.

    I realy pray to God sir that you read my comments above because I mean every word of it. May Allah show you the evil path your on so you can repent and desist from destroying a promising young life all because of ego. And yes I am from Katsina.

    • Tunsj

      Well put, Awta.

    • $20 billion (dollars) is still unaccounted for at NNPC

    • Garba

      Watch it Primium Times! You seem to be playing to the gallery lately. Right after Mr. Nuhu Ribadu left APC, you claimed APC is in dissary as its leaders are leave the party in droves. After the Kano Sallah motor park attack, you tenuously tried to show that the park was virtually exclusively used by southerners, a claim you couldn’t substantiate. Now you are curiously ignoring the criminal component in this report and claiming that just because of a Facebook post a student is being detained indefinitely. I think you should have investigated more, especially since you reported that the boy himself went to the Govt. House to receive money. What took him there? Was he arrested and taken to the Govt House by force? Pls note that other people have made weightier allegations against the Governor of Katsina but he never bothered to take any action against them. You should be careful not to trample on one ‘human right’ in rush to advance another ‘human right’ to please the gallery. Before God and the law both the the weak and the strong are entitled to fair hearing. Your report on the Katsina Gov. does not seem to appreciate that.

      • Cliff Fluant

        Read well.

        • Jayjay

          What are hou talking about? If the boy havw done anything criminal yhen charge him to court?

      • KickStarter

        Garba, Premium Times is saying the boy is detained indefinitely. Based on what the police said and the refusal of Shema’s aide to comment, can you controvert that? If there is a criminal component, charge the suspect. Have they done that? What’s your point sef? We are promoting crap too much in this country. If someone clones a governor’s phone, is it the responsibility of the governor or his so-called ADC to order his arrest? It is for him to file a report to the police and officers arrest and investigate.

        Again, did you read the part the young man’s father said a state official warned his son to stop criticising the governor or be killed? Mr Saidu mentioned the man’s name; no be go come. Did you see that part? What is Premium Times’ fault? As a newspaper their own is to report based on interviews, documents and investigations. They requested interviews with the Governor’s aide he refused. Did you read that part? Yet you said they should have investigated more. How? Is it psychic investigation of accessing peoples’ minds? With internet now, shebi all man na baba for journalism…

      • kingKong

        You are talking trash! Am not sure you read the story properly. Under no circumstance should anybody be detained beyond 24hrs under frivolous allegations. They should take him to court to prove his innocence! God forbid, that boy dies in the Governors custody, you, his supporters and the Governor will be heard responsible! whether the Governor likes it or not, Nigerians will continue to criticize him.

  • redeem

    Is the governor a member of APC or PDP————————-na question I ask oooooooooooooooooooh———biko

    • Ummitah

      Na ur PDP brother oh. Una wey wan Jona to continue for the 3rd Term so that the Ihejirika’s and the Oritsejafor’s will continue supplying funds and arms to the Jonathan siblings to continue killing the Hausa Fulanis. Dere ris God oh!

  • $20 billion (dollars) is still unaccounted for at NNPC.

  • Aliyyu A Abdullahi

    Allah ka wargaza irin wadannan gwamnonin banzan marasa amfani cikin al’umma.

    • awta

      Ameen

  • tsunami1earthquake

    Shema is a lawyer; he knows what the law says about detaining a citizen. Now this lawyer-turned-governor has decided to throw caution to the wind and has embraced a culture of impunity at the highest level. Listen to this shameless lawyer-turned-governor. He and his cronies are effecting detention of this boy on charge that the boy cloned a commissioner’s telephone! Since they have established the said offence, why are they still detaining him? Why have they not taken him to court as the law stipulates? I cannot just imagine how Nigeria’s leaders think! And I cannot just imagine how the police could dance to the tune of these crazy people in government! Look, Shema, or whatever you call yourself, Nigerians will continue to berate, criticise and lampoon you even the more if this boy continues being detained for doing nothing, other than his Facebook revelation of your thievery. And, should this boy die or face any injury, you, Shema, will be held responsible. Time has come when governors must be stripped of this obnoxious immunity and made to pay for their crimes while still in office. After all, immunity belongs to the nation; and the nation could see it fit to strip anybody of such privilege should this person abuse it. And this is what Shema is doing right now! He must be stripped of this immunity.

  • mr samuel

    Greetings to the general public,

    NIGERIA CUSTOMS (NATIONAL AUTHORIZED CAR AUCTIONS/SALES) FOR 2013-TO BUY CALL THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT OFFICE LINE 08062474131-WE HAVE DIRECT TOKUNBO CARS FOR SALE AT CHEAPER PRICES.

    These cars were seized by government officials at border and the time duration given to the owners to claim their cars has elapse so they are been sold in a give away price.All you need do is to call 08062474131 to place an order of your choice.

    CAR FEATURES BELOW

    Prices of cars below..call MR BALOGUN ON 08062474131 FOR YOUR CHOICE OF CAR..

  • BlackieUmukoro

    Power show. Thank God they are of the same faith

  • jamesbond3

    These civilians governors are behaving just like the military administrators during the military regime who can’t stand being criticized by the people they govern.

  • Isaac Azor

    Hope we are not gradually inching towards a new form of militancy of administration in Nigeria!

  • Mr. Abdin

    Nigeria is gradually becoming a banana republic.

  • Cordelia Jiakponna

    Who knows if the boys is still alive? Why do they deny his people access to him?

  • Emmiseun

    Let Mr. Governor and all his entourage remember hat there is God is heaven who will judge every man according to his deed. If Gov. Shema doesn’t suffer for this then his children and even his children’s children will suffer for it.

    Gov., Shema
    Gov., Shema

  • Peter Domic

    FREE ABDUMALIK FREE ABDUMALIK FREE ABDUMALIK

  • the_adviser

    He did it his way. RIP