Civic group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has reacted to the arrest of a Nigerian student for criticizing Aisha Buhari.
SERAP asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to stop the 'sham trial' of Aminu Muhammad.
Muhammed is a student of Federal University, Dutse who was assaulted, detained and remanded for allegedly criticising Nigeria’s First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
On Wednesday, SaharaReporters reported that the police had secretly arraigned Muhammed before a Federal Capital Territory High Court and remanded him in prison custody.
Muhammed was arrested for tweeting that Aisha was feeding fat on poor people’s money.
The final-year student in the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, in June 2022 posted on Twitter that Mrs Buhari had suddenly added weight after taking part in plundering the nation’s meagre resources as the masses endured hardship under her husband’s regime.
The wife of the President is known for taking frivolous trips to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The tweet, which was posted in Hausa reads: “Su mama anchi kudin talkawa ankoshi.”
The tweet, which was accompanied by a photograph of Mrs Buhari, can be loosely translated as “Mama has eaten poor people’s money and is now full”.
According to his friends, he made the post because he was frustrated about the prolonged strike embarked upon by public university lecturers across the country.
The strike started in February 2022 and ended in October after eight months.
However, on November 8, the 23-year-old student was picked up by security operatives on campus and was reportedly beaten up following his arrest.
SaharaReporters had exclusively reported how Mrs Buhari ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, to charge Muhammed to court.
“The student was taken before IGP Baba Usman today (Monday) at the Force Headquarters,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
“He will be charged to court; Aisha insisted she must be taken to the court to explain how she (Aisha) embezzled money. She has given an order to the IGP that the boy must be charged to court.”
Following the directive of the First Lady, Muhammed was secretly arraigned on Tuesday.
The police were said to have earlier told his family that he would be arraigned on Tuesday but later postponed the arraignment till Wednesday on the premise that the judge was indisposed.
It was however gathered that the police later on Tuesday arraigned the final-year student before FCT High Court No. 14, after which the judge ordered his remand in Suleja Prison.
According to his uncle, Shehu Baba-Azare, the police did not inform the family about the arraignment.
Reacting to his secret arraignment, SERAP, in a statement published on Twitter, described Muhammed as a prisoner of conscience, insisting that he must be immediately released.
The statement read, "The Buhari administration must end the sham trial of Aminu Muhammad, a student of Federal University, Dutse who is reportedly remanded in prison allegedly for criticising the first lady on Twitter.
"Aminu is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately released."