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A social media picture landed Muaz Magaji in trouble – Lawyer

A magistrate's Court sitting at Nomansland area of Kano state has remanded a former commissioner of works in the state, Muaz Magaji in police custody.

A lawyer has attributed the arrest and detention of a former commissioner of works in the state, Muaz Magaji, to an alleged defamatory picture he posted on social media.

The lawyer said this at a magistrate’s Court sitting at Nomansland area of Kano, where Magaji was arraigned.

This was sequel to a direct criminal complaint filed by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje against his ex-commissioner-turned-critic.

Magaji had been accused of breach of peace, intentional insult and defamation of character.

He was reportedly arrested in Abuja after featuring as a guest on a political programme of Trust TV, on Thursday night.

Earlier confirming his arrest, the police spokesman in Kano, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, said it was sequel to several complaints filed against him.

He said the former commissioner’s alleged refusal to honour police invitation triggered his arrest.

But later on Friday, it was gathered that Magaji had been taken before the magistrate’s court in Nomansland area of the state metropolis on the strength of the said complaints filed by the governor.

In the direct complaint filed before the court by the governor, the court was told Magaji “posted a picture portraying our client (Ganduje) as an immoral and ungodly man in an extra-marital affair with a strange woman whose face appeared in the said picture”.

The governor’s lawyer, Adekunle Taiye Falola, further stated that the said “picture had been widely circulated by the suspect (Magaji) on several social media platforms, in a brazen attempt to assassinate the character, goodwill, good name and image of our client, the first citizen of Kano state, which he built for several decades in civil service and in frontline politics in Nigeria”.

But the lawyer to Magaji told the court that his client would not be able to take his plea on the grounds that he had suffered temporary hearing loss following the manner in which he was arrested by the police in Abuja.

He urged the court to grant his client bail and allow him to be taken to his hospital for medical check-up.

In his ruling, however, the presiding judge, Aminu Gabari, ordered that Magaji be taken to police hospital and remanded in police custody.

The court thereafter adjourned the matter to January 31.

According to court papers sighted by Daily Trust, the suit was filed before a Federal High Court in Abuja on January 21, seeking among other things the declaration of the court that his invitation by the police was instigated by Kano state government as a political victimization and should therefore be declared null and void.

Listed as respondents in the suit were: Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police (Kano command), CSP Abdul Abdul, ASP Salahudeen Dalhatu and Attorney General of Kano State.

Daily Trust reports that following the crisis and split in the Kano chapter of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Magaji has identified with the Senator Ibrahim Shekarau group, further pitting him against the state governor.

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