by Sani Tukur,
The Nigerian blogger who was arrested by the police on Monday may not be released till next week, the police indicated on Friday.
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 Magistrate Court 1 in Katsina on Thursday declined jurisdiction to try him. The judge instead asked that he be further detained till he is arraigned before an appropriate court.
The police on Friday failed to file the case before an appropriate court like the high court so the blogger can get bail.
When asked on the status of the case, Katsina police spokesperson told PREMIUM TIMES that “It is not in the hands of the police now since they have been taken to Court. They are not in custody of the police now.”
Mr. Mabai will therefore remain in prison till Monday or beyond when the police decide to finally file the appropriate charges.
GOING TO PRISON
A source familiar with the travails of the blogger told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that Mr. Mabai and two others arraigned with him were taken to the main prison in Katsina town.
“They have taken them to the Prison till Monday when they would be arraigned before a State High Court,” the source said.
He added that the blogger’s family has gotten in touch with a lawyer “who is currently working on getting them out on bail.”
Mr. Mabai’s arrest is believed to have been ordered by the Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina; a claim the latter’s spokesperson, Abdu Labaran, denied.
The blogger is a known critic of the Katsina administration led by Aminu Masari on his blog, Cliqq Magazine.
A family friend of Mr. Mabai had on Thursday 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.
GOING AFTER BLOGGERS
The two people arraigned alongside Mr. Mabai are Bashir Dauda and Umar Faruq. They were accused of writing about Mr. Mbai’s story with the intent to cause civil disturbance and expose Mr. Masari to public ridicule.
Their arrest and
arraignment is coming on the heels of the arrest and detention two weeks ago of another blogger, Emenike Iroegbu, on the orders of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
Mr. Iroegbu who publishes Abia Facts Newspaper was accused of defaming Mr. Ikpeazu.
He allegedly published a story accusing the governor of burying a 9-year-old boy in the government House, Umuahia.
In the same vein, another blogger, Abubakar Usman, who publishes abusidiqu.com was recently arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who accused him of “cyber stalking”.
Mr. Usman was released after much public condemnation.