Amid the controversy trailing Nigeria's First Lady, Aisha Buhari, members of the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) have expressed varied opinions on the arrest of a student of the Federal University, Dutse Jigawa, Aminu Mohammed, by the Nigeria Police on the orders of Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
The First Lady ordered the arrest of Mohammed, a final-year student in the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State on November 18, over a post on socio media which read “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi” in Hausa which loosely translates as “the mother has gotten fatter by eating masses’ money.” in English.
Prominent Nigerians including social activist Aisha Yesufu condemned Aisha for alleged misuse of power against Mohammed who was initially reported to have been captured by officers of the Department of State Services but was later confirmed to have been arrested by the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.
NAN President, Usman Barambu in a statement on Tuesday, apologised to the First Lady on behalf of the Nigerian students, while soliciting the release of the student.
“The leadership of NANS received with concern the news of the unlawful arrest of Mohammed by the Nigeria Police on the instruction of Aisha Buhari. Upon receiving the news, I, Mohammed’s family and friends swung into action to trace the whereabouts of Mohammed. After some days of searching, we got the information that he was at the police unit in Wuse Zone 2. I met with Mohammed at the police custody.
“It was alleged that Mohammed some weeks back posted Aisha Buhari’s picture on Twitter with the caption “Su mama anchi kudin talakawa an koshi” (translated from Hausa to ‘the mother has gotten fatter by eating masses’ money’).
“Just like the normal way angry citizens have different ways of expression on social media. On November 18, 2022, the police from Abuja tracked Mohammed to the Federal University Dutse and picked him up without any written/verbal invitation or informing the school management or his family,” the President narrated.
Barambu added that Muhammed was “on the orders of Aisha Buhari" taken to the Presidential Villa where he was humiliated by the Police "after which he was unlawfully detained at a police facility at Wuse Zone II till date. I, alongside our team of lawyers, met with Mohammed at the police facility where he confirmed the incident to me. Until now, Mohammed has not been arraigned by any competent court of law or granted bail by the police.”
“We want to, on behalf of all the Nigerian students, tender our unreserved apology to the First Lady Aisha Buhari, for the action of Mohammed which might have caused her and her family pains. However, as leaders and public office holders, we must overlook some criticisms if we want to really forge ahead and do the right thing,” Barambu said.
“We demand a detailed explanation by the Nigeria Police on why they will go to the school premises and ‘kidnap’ a student without due process and took him straight to the Presidential Villa where he was brutalised which violates his fundamental human rights,” he added.
According to NANS, the student who sustained injuries after being beaten is yet to receive proper medical attention. Barambu, therefore, said: “We call on the police as a matter of national interest and urgency to release Mohammed unconditionally or be prepared to face the Nigerian students.
“However, we are calling on our teeming students to be careful and apply decorum in dealing with people, especially our leaders. They should be mindful of what they post on social media.
“We want to inform the general public to be patient as we await a response and actions from the Inspector General of Police on a letter earlier sent to his office.”
On his part, the National Public Relations Officer of NANS, Giwa Temitope, in another statement, disagreed with the Association's President, condemning the move by the First Lady who he claimed violated Muhammed's rights.
“The conduct of Aisha and the security officers involved in the brutality meted out to Mohammed is highly condemnable and shows that Aisha does not tolerate dissent. In a democratic dispensation, one would have expected the wife of the President to have instituted a case against the student (if at all there is any) rather than resort to violence.
“In so far it has been established that the student was ‘abducted’ by the police and then ferried to the Presidential Villa where he was tortured on the order of Aisha and then locked up at a police facility at Wuse II, the wife of the President and everyone involved have erred and violated his (Mohammed’s) right to dignity of human persons as guaranteed under Section 34 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“Our position as an association is that the wife of the President has exhibited conduct against the provisions of the Nigerian law which has therefore invalidated whatever case they might have against him,” the PRO said.
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