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Nigerian blogger detained for five days

By Sani Tukur

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?”

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.

Jamil Mabai

SOURCE

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