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Why Governor Masari, Police Are ‘Persecuting’ Mahadi, Says Lawyer

Mahadi and Masari composite
              Mahadi Shehu and Masari composite

Mustapha Abubakar, counsel to Muhammad Mahadi have accused Kastina State Government and the Nigeria Police Force of “persecuting” his client through the judiciary.

The embattled Kaduna based business man and activist, Mr. Mahadi, has been in detention for 39 days for speaking up against massive “looting” of public funds in his home state.

Mr. Mahadi last year levelled an allegation of corruption and misappropriation of funds involving billions of naira in the guise of battling security challenges against the Governor Bello Masari led administration.

Following the allegations, the state government filed a lawsuit of forgery, inciting the public against the government and defamation against the 62-year-old business man according to a court document seen by Peoples Gazette.

Mr. Abubakar, in a telephone interview Thursday with the Gazette said his client is being persecuted by the state for exposing high profile looting.

“For your information, the charges against my client were filed in four different courts by the Katsina State Government, SSG, Commissioner of Police and IGP.

“How can you be filing the same charges to a federal, magistrate and upper sharia court?

“The government doesn’t have shame, they don’t care about people’s opinion. This is a clear case of persecution, harassment. Filing the same case to different courts is embarrassing.” the lawyer said.

“They are persecuting him because of the exposure he made. Mr. Mahadi had issued a statement whereby officials are involved in high profile looting. [Monies] are being looted in the name of security and projects,” he added.

He further disclosed that the police benefitted from the massive looting to the tune of over N250 million.

Auwal Shehu Muktar, a family member to the business man told the Gazette that the charges filed against Mr. Mahadi by the government and IGP are false.

“We deny all allegations and will love for the case to be tried in court so he can be able to present his evidence for the alleged misappropriation of public funds. But all efforts for the case to be tried have been denied by the Nigerian Police and Katsina State Government,” Mr. Muktar told the Gazette.

“We are happy now the case has been taken to a neutral state and hopefully his side will be heard and evidence will be presented.”

“We are not sure why EFCC AND ICPC are not saying anything about it as petitions have been submitted to them since June of 2020 and we are yet to hear anything in that regard.” Mr. Muktar added.

The family member also disclosed to the Gazette that a federal high court sitting in Kano has granted the business man bail as at the time of filing in this report.

Police spokesman Frank Mba did not respond to multiple calls and messages when contacted for comments from Gazette Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Mahadi was first arrested in November last year by the IGP monitoring unit. He was detained for 11 days.

It was gathered that a high court sitting 

in Abuja presided over by Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted him bail on December 18 after the IGP team failed to produce him or send legal representatives.

The judge ruled that the arrest and detention was unlawful and unconstitutional and awarded damages to him to the tune of five million naira against the IGP and the Nigeria Police Force.

Mr. Muktar said the police are yet to pay the money slammed on them by the court.

“The IGP monitoring team re-arrested him again on the 16th of February, 2021 and held him till 27th of February, 2021 without charge and without bail even after another Federal High Court in Abuja granted him bail. 

“He was later on the same date transferred to Katsina by the Nigeria Police Force under the order of the IGP. He was arraigned before a Federal High Court judge in Katsina on 1st of March, 2020 and the case was adjourned to Friday 12th March, 2021. 

“The case was on that day transferred to Federal High Court Kano as announced by the Chief Judge,” he said.

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