- We are not aware of Mande’s arrest, says Kaduna Police PPRO
- Armed Mobile Police arrested my Husband, says Mande’s wife
- Why he was transferred to Abuja and the inability of the Police to arraign him to court 36 days after his arrest
The Boko Haram insurgency and the failure of the nation’s combined security forces to curtail their excesses have resulted in the loss of innocent lives with many casualties still struggling to treat themselves and in most cases without government intervention to facilitate such treatment or to ameliorate their hardships by way of supporting them financially after losing their fortunes either as a result of expensive medical treatments or destruction of their properties. In Kano State, for example, and with a population of nearly nine million people, there are less than 8300 police personnel that are ill-equipped too to provide security to Nigeria’s growing population. In the event of attacks by Boko Haram the Police, army and even the SSS usually run for cover for their dare lives instead of containing the attackers.
Privileged information obtained by DESERT HERALD magazine reveals that security personnel are no longer willing to sacrifice their lives because, according to some of them that spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, “victims of the Boko Haram attack among us that died or sustained serious injuries were left at the mercy of their families instead of the authorities to shoulder such responsibilities. Many of our colleagues that died in the line of duty in Maiduguri, Damaturu and Bauchi are yet to be compensated not to talk of receiving their gratuity and other hazard allowances. Our colleagues that sustained injuries are virtually treating themselves and you know that the Boko Haram people are more sophisticated and armed than us. So how can we, seeing the condition of some of our colleagues that sacrificed themselves, make same sacrifice? No we will never do that. This is not the nation you can sacrifice your life for. Your wife and children will just suffer if you die because they would never assist you and we know that government is making such provision but few greedy officers are diverting the money. I really don’t know how they can succeed in fighting Boko Haram. That’s why some of our officers, because the motivation and zeal to work thoroughly is not there, end up arresting innocent people in the name of Boko Haram sect members. We know that some of those that were arrested are not Boko Haram people or having sympathy for them but our bosses have to justify the huge allocation to them. I am afraid that our intelligence failure and desperation to satisfy the authorities by all means may result in many of such innocent arrests in the future”, a DSP who pleaded not to be named revealed.
If the claims of the anonymous DSP are anything to go by, the arrest in Kaduna and continued detention of Alhaji Mande Faru, the proprietor of Iqra Publishing House in Kaduna, without arraigning him to Court more than one month after he was arrested and the conflicting information by the Police then there may be more to his arrest, according to his close associates, than meets the eye.
Mande, a journalist by training and former editor of the defunct Hotline magazine, was arrested by a detachment of armed mobile Police men in his Unguwan Sarki Office in Kaduna on Wednesday 21th December, 2011. Sources close to his family told DESERT HERALD that Mande had spent three weeks at the state CID at Ibrahim Taiwo road in Kaduna before he was transferred to Abuja reportedly on the orders of the former IGP Hafiz Ringim. Initially according to Mande’s wife, the Police are allowing them access to him but they eventually prevented anyone from seeing him not even his wife or lawyer. After spending three weeks without arraigning him to Court and refusing his bail application according to his family, Mande was transferred to Abuja.
Mande’s alleged offence, according to his new counsel, Barrister Sadau Garba, was in connection with the Mando bomb factory where it was alleged by the Police that the accused was one of those fingered to have connection with the bombers. By implication, Mande is accused of having ties with the dreaded Boko Haram sect that unleashed terror in some parts of the north.
Sources told DESERT HERALD magazine that during a search on Mande’s office at Sullubawa road in Kaduna the Police found late Muhammad Yusuf’s cassettes for preaching and other written materials on Boko Haram and their emergence. But findings by DESERT HERALD magazine reveal that Mande as a journalist and publisher of many Islamic books including the popular Raddul azhan Ala ma’anil Qur’an by late Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi is doing a comprehensive documentary on the Boko Haram sect; their emergence, mission, operation and why they engage in terror and as such he must gather materials that will guide him in his research.
What pundits could not comprehend about Mande’s ordeal is the refusal by the police to allow his immediate family and lawyer access to him, the failure to arraign him over one month after his arrest, his sudden transfer to Abuja, the denial about his arrest by the Kaduna State Police Command under whose territory the arrest was effected and the claims by Mande’s family that they don’t know his whereabouts.
DESERT HERALD magazine in an effort to verify some of the claims has called the PPRO of Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Aminu Lawan, to confirm Mande’s arrest and to know the charges against him. But DSP Lawan told DESERT HERALD magazine on phone that he is not aware about Mande’s arrest even though the time the call was placed Mande had spent three weeks in Kaduna at the CID office. Mande’s counsel, Barrister Sadau Garba, believes that there is so much conspiracy about his arrest and that the authorities want to use him as a scapegoat to cover their failure and ineptitude. Sadau in a press release wondered why the Police failed to arraign Mande in Court despite what they believe they have against him and chose to violate his fundamental human rights.
Hajia Murjanatu Faru, wife of the embattled Mande Faru, had through the family counsel, Barrister Sadau, said her husband is known for many years in research and publishing business.
Mande, according to his wife, has published Islamic literature books for many years. And contrary to the claims of DSP Lawan, the PPRO of the Kaduna Police Command according to Murjanatu, “a team of police detectives/officers (Jummai/Bala) and one other person from the Kaduna State Police Command descended on the business premises of my husband and whisked him away to the police headquarters. That the said police officers confiscated his Renault car, two computers and a monitor. That at the initial stage of the arrest, his family members used to visit him at the Gabasawa Police Station but of recent, the police has prevented them from seeing him and presently, his where about is unknown to them”.
Mande’s wife also expressed concern that her husband “is suffering from serious High Blood Pressure and his medical condition is deteriorating due to non-availability of his drugs”. Barrister Sadau in his letter to the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Balla M. Nasarawa, which was copied to the National Human Rights Commission, said “on 1st January, 2012 the Police at Gabasawa Police Station molested and harassed the wife of Alhaji Mande Faru and a member of his staff, Sagir Sale, and prevented them from seeing Faru and supplying his drugs”. Mande’s family through their counsel urged the Police Commissioner to “release him or charge him to Court as the family shall hold the Nigeria Police liable for whatever happens to him while in detention”.
As at the time of filing this report, Mande Faru’s family did not know where he is in Abuja and that the police authorities in Kaduna did not communicate them about his whereabouts or why they fail to take him to court. Efforts by his counsel to know Mande’s whereabouts in Abuja, according to his family, was frustrated with no one willing to give any vital information. “I assumed that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law. Even if there is no law that demanded the arraignment of an accused within 48 hours of his arrest, I believe an accused has the right to know what he is being charged for and it is his right to defend himself but Mande was denied that right. I believe there is conspiracy somewhere to perpetually detain my brother if not why are they afraid of arraigning him? Mande is sick and requires emergency medical attention. Anything can happen to him. Please let them arraign him. For many of us it is preposterous to accuse Mande with terrorism or having ties with the Boko Haram sect”, Mande’s brother who don’t want to be named told DESERT HERALD magazine.
While no one can be 100% certain about Mande’s culpability or not about his alleged link with the Boko Haram sect or the controversial Kaduna bomb factory, pundits lament that even if the Police have gathered overwhelming evidence against him it is a gross violation of the law and his fundamental human rights to languish in Police detention without arraignment to court, refusing him access to his drugs and family as alleged and denying him bail.
So far, the Police have remained silent on Mande’s arrest and detention and nobody, including his family, knows his fate since there are still no formal charges against him. Why the Police PPRO, DSP Lawan, said they are not aware about his arrest even though he spent three weeks at Gabasawa Police Station is still a subject of discuss and lamentation.
Meanwhile, Barrister Sadau Garba has formally filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Kaduna seeking for the enforcement of the fundamental human rights of his client and for his immediate release from Police detention. The motion on notice has already been heard.
What remains to be seen considering the gross violation of the law by the Police is whether they will comply and respect the decision of the Court or not.