Aminu Mohammed, a critic of Nigeria’s first lady Aisha Buhari has regained his freedom.
Mohammed, a final year student of Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State in Northern Nigeria, was freed on Saturday after the police discontinued his trial.
Mohammed tweeted in June that Aisha, President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, was feeding ‘fat’ on poor people’s money. A photograph of the first lady was posted with the tweet.
The police said the alleged offence of the 24-year-old student bordered on defamation and cyberstalking, which contravened Section 391 of the Penal Code.
Police said Mohammed’s tweet was “false” and capable of affecting the reputation of Aisha Buhari.
The student was arraigned before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court at Maitama, on Tuesday.
Mohammed pleaded not guilty to the offense but was remanded at Suleja prison in Niger State by the judge. His lawyer CK Agu earlier requested bail to enable him to start his final exams on Monday, but the court did not grant the application.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) thereafter threatened to commence an indefinite nationwide protest to demand Mohammed’s freedom.
NANS president Usman Barambu on Thursday said Mohammed was arrested in a questionable manner and being “tortured, molested, harassed, and detained”.
A Nigerian rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) threatened to institute legal action against the Nigerian Government for detaining the student.
“The Buhari administration must end the sham trial,” SERAP tweeted and demanded for Mohammed’s “unconditional release”.
The prosecuting counsel disclosed that the legal team made an application for discontinuance of the matter.
“The judge magnanimously granted the application and struck out the matter from the court,” police said.
The prosecuting counsel disclosed that Buhari’s wife stated that she had forgiven Mohammed and there is an instruction to release him from the correctional centre in Suleja, Niger State. (Guardian)