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Group Condemns Mahdi Shehu’s Alleged Blackmail Against Former AGF, Urges Arewa Leaders To Unite

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A coalition of northern Youth groups under the banner of movement for Arewa Development Agenda has condemned in the strongest term the action of a renowned Northern activist Mahdi Shehu against the former minister of Justice Abubakar Malami.

The group at an emergency meeting in Kano, under it’s Convener Abubakar Muhammad expressed concern over his action, saying that it will not mean well for the region.

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He said, at the current situation in the country, Northerners need unity then ever not which hunting and blackmailing one another especially among leaders and elders of the region.

Abubakar Muhammad said, the group convene the meeting after report of arresting Mahdi Shehu by security operatives during an operation while trying to blackmail the former minister (Abubakar Malami) in Abuja.

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The civil society and human rights activist Abubakar further explained that, Malami having convinced that he had nothing to hide throughout his tenure as the Minister of Justice, notified the security Agencies about the threat; and they immediately swung in to action which eventually led to the apprehension and arrest of the dubious and self-proclaimed patriotic Mahadi Shehu.

”Mahadi Shehu has been very popular in defaming and tarnishing the image of politicians from Northern Nigeria, especially the Fmr President Muhammad Buhari and those who served in his Government, as well as the incumbent President Bola Ahmad Tinubu, Mal. Ibrahim Shekarau and the likes. You may wished to recalled Mahadi’s deceptive tactics in an exposed video that went viral mimicking that he is physically incapacitated” Abubakar added.

”Based on this, as activists who mean well for our region and Nigeria at large, we are disassociating ourselves from Mahdi Shehu and called on Nigerians to disregard him as an activist”. He explained.

The group then, called on Northern leaders and elders to unite and confront the challenges facing the region, and that era of blackmailing and which hunting one another is over.

However, reacting to the detention in a press statement made available to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, M. I. Abubakar, the lawyer representing Mahdi Shehu said his client was accused of attempting to extort N500 million from Mr Malami and that the police said that led to the arrest of Shehu on Tuesday.

However, the lawyer said the main reason why Malami and others who served in Buhari’s administration wanted Shehu to be detained was to stop his persistent social media posts about the lack of transparency and accountability during the former President’s administration.

The statement reads in full: “Yesterday, 6th February, 2024 in the afternoon, our Client, MUHAMMAD MAHDI SHEHU, a renowned Kaduna-based social critic/activist, non-commercial whistleblower and successful businessman was arrested and detained in Abuja by the Inspector- General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit ostensibly on a petition written by A. A. MALAMI, SAN & CO. (the law firm of the immediate past Attorney-General of the Federation) for and on behalf of ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN the said immediate past AGF and his family.

“Although, the petition made allegations of hacking and compromise of emails and Bank accounts of the former AGF and some members of his family as well as an attempt to open a fake bank account in the name of a member of the family and extortion of about N 20,000,000.00 (twenty million naira) from a member of the family by a syndicate, no mention was made of the name of MUHAMMAD MAHDI SHEHU in the Petition.

“However, the Police claimed to have arrested Muhammad Madhi Shehu in his hotel room in Abuja based on a tip by ABUBAKAR MALAMI, SAN relating to an alleged WhatsApp chat between him and MADHI SHEHU claiming that the latter attempted to extort N500,000,000.00 (five hundred million naira) from him.

“The said allegation by MALAMI, SAN and the arrest of our Client, MAHDI SHEHU is coming just a day after he made a tweet on X (formerly Twitter) accusing some prominent members of the Government of former PRESIDENT MOHAMMED BUHARI from the North of sponsoring a campaign of calumny against OBAZEE, the Special Investigator appointed by PRESIDENT BOLA TINUBU to investigate the affairs of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) under the leadership of GODWIN EMEFIELE in a recent Report in the Daily Trust Newspaper.

“MAHDI SHEHU had also in the past few months made publications very critical of some prominent members of the Government of former PRESIDENT MOHAMMED BUHARI especially MALAMI, SAN and specifically called for his arrest and prosecution.

“The arrest and detention of our Client may therefore not be unconnected with concerted efforts by MALAMI, SAN and other prominent members of the Government of former PRESIDENT MOHAMMED BUHARI accused by MAHDI SHEHU to deal with him for having the temerity to dare them publicly and to silence and put him away from circulation for a long time.

“It will be recalled that our Client, MAHDI SHEHU was similarly arrested and detained twice over long spans of time by the same IGP Monitoring Unit between 2021 and 2022 over allegations he made against top officials of the Katsina State Government under the leadership of then Governor of the State, AMINU BELLO MASARI of corruptly and fraudulently diverting billions of naira belonging to the Katsina State Government under the guise of security spendings.

“On those occasions, the FCT High Court and the Federal High Court, Abuja Division found the arrest and detention of MAHDI SHEHU unlawful and unconstitutional and respectively awarded N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) and N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) to him against the Police for his wrongful arrest and detention.

“While we concede to the right of the Police to investigate any allegation of crime against any citizen including our Client, we humbly call on the Police to respect the constitutional right of our Client to be released on bail pending investigation or charged to Court within 24 hours of his arrest regard being had of the fact that there are Courts of competent jurisdiction within Abuja to entertain any charge in respect of the allegations against him (section 35(5)(a) of the 1999 Constitution).

“We also call on the Police to respect our Client’s right to the dignity of his human person (section 34(1) of the 1999 Constitution) by affording him decent treatment while in their custody.

“For the records, our Client denies categorically the allegation of extorting money from MALAMI, SAN or any member of his family and indeed any of the allegations made against him by MALAMI, SAN and his Chambers or family.”

 

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