A student of the Federal University, Dutse, Aminu Mohammed Adamu, who was arrested for trolling First Lady Aisha Buhari on Twitter, has been secretly arraigned in court and remanded in the Suleja correctional facility in Niger State, the guardian, Kabiru Shehu has confirmed.
Shehu, however, disclosed that Aminu is a respectful and peaceful person, adding that he is not a stubborn person.
“He has a gentle personality. He is not a stubborn man. He makes fun with anything that comes his way. He doesn’t insult people.
“His intention was not to insult the first lady. He is currently in one of the prisons in Abuja. He pleaded not guilty in court. However, the judge adjourned hearing in the suit to a month’s time.”
He revealed that Aminu was slated to write his examination in December 2022.
“His lawyer pleaded for bail so that he can write his exam in December. The judge however told them to settle out of court. We are hopeful that they will resolve this and grant him bail.
“If released Aminu will not attack the first lady in any way. The first lady is a mother. I am hopeful she will forgive him,” he added.
Justice Yusuf Halilu of a High Court of the FCT had ordered the remand of Aminu, a student of Federal University, Dutse (FUD), in Suleja prison over his tweet on Aisha Buhari.
The tweet, which was posted in Hausa in June 9, 2022, reads: “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi.” Muhammad’s tweet, accompanied by a photo of Aisha, loosely translates as “Mama has eaten poor people’s money and is now full”.
The charges against Aminu which was filed by James Idachaba on November 21, 2022 reads: “That you Aminu Adamu male of Anguwar Sarakuna, Bauchi, Bauchi State sometime between May -June 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did intentionally open a Twitter Handle with the name @aminullahie a.k.a. Catalyst, and screenshot the photograph of Her Excellency Hajia Aisha Buhari and wrote on it in Hausa Language ‘* Su Mama anchi kudi talakawa ankoshi’ roughly translated to English language to mean ‘Mama has embezzled monies meant for the poor for satisfaction’ and posted same on your above twitter handle for the members of the public to read, knowing same to be false and capable of affecting her reputation. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 391 of the Penal Code. ‘
Aminu’s lawyer, Barr. Chijioke Kingsley Agu, told journalists that he was remanded on Tuesday after he was charged to court by the police.
Agu told BBC Hausa Service that the student was charged to a court in Abuja but that he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The lawyer said they had made several efforts since November 25, 2022 to get the student released on bail but to no avail.
According to him, “Even in the court session, we notified the judge about the efforts made to have him released on bail, but we did not receive any reply from the police.
“We applied to the court to release the student on bail on health grounds and the fact that he will sit for an exam on December 5.”
Aminu, a final year undergraduate student of Environmental Management at the Federal University, Dutse, will be writing his exams on December 5, 2022.
Reactions have trailed Amunu’s arrest. Amnesty International, Abuja, has strongly condemned the arrest and called for his immediate release.
It vowed that all those who subjected the young student to torture and other human rights violations would be brought to justice.
Also, speaking to Freedom Radio, Aminu’s uncle, Baba Shehu, said that Aminu made the post out of frustration when Aisha Buhari posted pictures of her children who graduated from a foreign university amidst the long strike by university lecturers.
He said, “Aminu phoned his father and told him what happened to him. He told his father that he was arrested, beaten up by the police, and taken to the First Lady.
“Aminu told us that he was arrested because of a post about Aisha Buhari…we agree that Aminu was wrong but she should seek justice through proper means….”
Meanwhile, the public relations officer of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS), Umar Danlami Abubakar, in a telephone conversation with LEADERSHIP said, ” Even though I cannot confirm if he is the person or not, but the issue is that there was admission of an offender brought to our facility today.”
When contacted, the police were not willing to provide details on the matter.
The spokesperson of the FCT police command, DSP Josephine Adeh, who promised to get back to us to confirm the arraignment, failed to do so.
CUPP Offers Free Legal Service As Court Remands Him In Prison
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the arrest of the security operatives who abducted and tortured Aminu Mohammed for criticising First Lady Aisha Buhari on Twitter.
He argued that the First Lady does not have the right to order the arrest of her critics.
He also announced the decision of the CUPP to offer the detainee free legal services
Ugochinyere, who made the call in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also called on the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police Force to release the student without further delay.
The statement read in part, “The government and security agencies must release the boy from illegal detention so that he can join his colleagues to continue his examination.
Nigerian Students, Others Demand Aminu’s Immediate Release
Nigerian students and other stakeholders have demanded Aminu’s release.
Speaking with our correspondent yesterday, a cross section of Nigerian students called on the First Lady to, as a mother of the nation, release the young man since he has learnt his lesson.
A student of University of Abuja, who identified himself as Victor, said the leadership of NANS had already tendered an apology and the First Lady should consider that and forgive the boy.
He said, “As a mother of all Nigerians, she should only caution the boy to concentrate on his studies and not social media life.”
On his part, Cletus, a 200-level student of Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, said the boy was only expressing his freedom of speech as guaranteed by the 1999 constitution.
“The first lady should have gone to court for libel and not using the instruments of state to intimidate and harass an innocent boy. Why wouldn’t a young man that was at home for about eight months not get frustrated?” he asked.