The Katsina State Police Command said it arrested a 75-year-old man, Lawal Abdullahi popularly called Izala, and one Bahajeje Abu, for ‘insulting’ President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State, because their action is a ‘grave’ offence in the Nigerian constitution, especially under the penal code.
PRNigeria reports that a video has circulated on various social media platforms where Izala, who was recorded by Abu, was captured pouring invectives on Mr. President and Gov. Masari.
Spokesperson of the Command, Superintendent of Police (SP) Gambo Isah, while briefing newsmen, noted that CP Sanusi Buba had immediately tasked the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Command to investigate and identify the culprits when the video surfaced online.
SP Isah, stressed that not only leaders but insulting ordinary civilians without any justification is a serious offence under the penal code.
He cautioned members of the public to avoid making derogatory videos, whereby they will insult their leaders, and thereafter post on social media.
“It is an offence under the Cyber Crime Act, which has to do with posting on the social media,” the Command spokesperson said.
Speaking after he was paraded by the Police, Mr. Izala, said he was arrested for criticing President Buhari and Governor Masari, but he did not know that Abu recorded him.
“The video was recorded after I travelled to my hometown and discovered that my brother was butchered because of a dispute over 15 cows. When I returned to where I stay in town, Abu approached me and without knowing what was wrong with me he started shouting “Sai Buhari, Sai Baba.”
“And out of annoyance, I started to criticise Buhari and Governor Masari, without knowing I was been recorded by Abu. The video was recorded about three months ago, but it was just released recently. After it surfaced online, I received a call from a concerned friend who asked me to run away. But I bluntly told him I will not run, let the police come and arrest me,” the 75-year-old narrated.
On his part, Abu, said he recorded the video so that the Police would arrest Izala and prosecute him for insulting the President and the Katsina State Governor, without any concrete reason.
He maintained that he did not shoot the video to disparage the integrities of the two prominent leaders, as he even ‘love and admire’ them greatly.
Abu, while denying that he posted the videos on social media, said someone may have transfered the clip from his phone and thereafter post it.
“This thing has already happened, but it is not appropriate. It is a big offence. The religion forbids insulting of leaders,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, Civil Society and Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Mr. Auwal Musa Rafsanjani disclosed that Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) had sent lawyers to Katsina State on this issue and paid a fine of the sum of N70,000 for the freedom of the old man.