Saharareporters has learned a Nigerian citizen, Moukhtari Ibrahim Aminu, has been arrested and detained for 10 days allegedly for "insulting" Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State on facebook. In addition, Mustapha Saad, a magistrate in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital, has further remanded the accused in prison until February 7th 2011.
Moukhtar’s arrest stemmed from a message he posted on his page on January 18 2011, it not clear if he also posted the same on Governor Lamido's facebook fan page, where curiously he is also an administrator.
The text reads: “O Allah destroy Sule Lamido and the rest of his friends, O Allah disgrace Sule Lamido and the rest of his cursed friends, O Allah curse Sule Lamido and the rest of his cursed friends, O Allah expose Sule Lamido and the rest of his cursed friends, O Allah inflict poverty on Sule Lamido and the rest of his cursed friends Amen and all those for prophet Muhammad (SAW) say Amen.”
After Mukhatari posted the text message on his facebook page, the governor lodged a complaint with the police and ordered that Mukhtari Moukhtar be arrested.
The Jigawa commissioner of police, Mr. Hashimu Salihu Argungu, launched a manhunt and arrested Mukhtari.
After being detained for 10 days, Mukhtari was arraigned before Magistrate Mustapha Saad and charged with violating Section 393 of the Nigerian penal code.
A source told SaharaReporters that Moukhtar might have turned against Governor Lamido as most youth in the northern parts of Nigeria, condemned northern governors who supported Mr. Goodluck Jonathan during the People's Democratic Party (PDP). Mr. Jonathan emerged winner in the primaries, trouncing Atiku Abukakar, the "northern consensus candidate".
“What has happened to this man is indefensible,” said an Abuja-based lawyer, adding, “Curiously, the penal code doesn't know Internet defamation as an offense.” The lawyer accused Governor Lamido and the police commissioner of abuse of power as well as “stretching a law to cover a ground that it does not cover.” Section 393 states: "Any person who, with intent to defraud, conceals the whole or part of any document which is evidence of title to any land or estate in land is guilty of a felony, and is liable to imprisonment for three years."
Mukhtari has been remanded in prison till February 7.
However, the Nigeria Liberty Forum in London has begun a massive Facebook campaign against "Emperor" Sule Lamido. Led by Kayode Ogundamisi, the UK-based protest movement has asked Nigerians on Facebook to bombard the Facebook page of Sule Lamido in order to force him to drop the charges against Mukhtar with immediate effect.
Mukhtar's father, Mr. Ibrahim Aminu, a former House of Assembly member in Jigawa, recently left the PDP for the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
To protest Moukhtar's detention:
Lamido's FB Groups page
Send An Email to Sule Lamido & tell me what you feel about him: