A political activist and lawyer, Barrister Saida Sa’ad, has fled her home in Kaduna following attempts by people believed alleged to be police officers from Kano State to arrest her on Wednesday evening.
The police in Kano denied knowledge of the alleged harassment by its operatives saying though they had assigned two teams on investigation assignments in Kaduna, the first team which carried out its assignment in Zaria had concluded and was on its way back while the second team for Kaduna city was yet to leave Kano.
Barrister Sa’ad who spoke to Daily Trust from a hidden location said a group of armed men in mufti led by a female who claimed to be one ASP Zainab had invaded her home on Wednesday but were restricted by her security guards.
She said ASP Zainab had told her on phone that they were police officers from Kano under orders to arrest and move her to Kano even though they could not produce an arrest warrant.
Sa’ad who was appointed the Legal Adviser, Kaduna State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS) by Governor Nasir El-Rufai in February, told Daily Trust that as her conversation with ASP Zainab became heated, she feared they were kidnappers or armed robbers sent to harm her and so, she sent an SOS following which a team of police officers from Kaduna were drafted to rescue her.
“By the time they came, the alleged policemen from Kano had left and the next day, Thursday, I got reliable information that they were still in Kaduna and under strict orders to move me to Kano.
“I was advised to leave my house and after much persuasion, I did.
“They returned Friday morning with guns and harassed members of my family,” she said.
Barrister Sa’ad said several lawyers and civil society organisations had reached out to her because they feared the fate of a social media critic, Abubakar Idris aka Dadiyata, may befall her.
Dadiyata who was popular for criticising the Kano State government had gone missing in the early hours of August 2, 2019 when unknown assailants bundled him into his BMW vehicle in his home, in Barnawa neighbourhood of Kaduna.
The whereabouts of the 34-year-old lecturer in the Department of English and Linguistics, Federal University Dutsinma, Katsina State has remained unknown since then.
As at Saturday, Sa’ad said she had no idea who had written a petition against her but had through her lawyer, eventually received a copy of the charges on Friday evening.
Our correspondent who went through the charge sheet noticed that it was issued at the Senior Magistrate Court 58, Noman’s Land, Kano between the state and Saida Sa’ad who is being charged for the offence of “defamation of character, assault and intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace in Kano.”
“The charge sheet looks fake because there is no signature from a judge. If there is a charge against me, they should follow due process and I am ready to face the law.
“As I am now, I have gotten a restraining order from a Kaduna court.
“The police in Kaduna have told me to go about my businesses and assured me of protection but they gave similar assurances a day before my house was invaded and my family harassed,” she said.
The Kaduna State police command, when contacted said it was aware of the situation and confirmed that a team of police officers from Kano had visited the state on investigation activities.
Police spokesman, ASP Mohammed Jalige, said only the Kano command could speak on the matter but assured that Barrister Sa’ad was free to carry out her businesses in Kaduna.