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Police Arrest ex-Kano Commissioner for Posting ‘Defamatory Photo’ of Ganduje

Police on Thursday arrested Muazu Magaji, a fierce critic of the Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

Daily Nigerian reports that Magaji was arrested by the police after a live television interview on Trust TV in Utako, Abuja around 9:15 pm on Thursday.

Magaji was reportedly raced down by the police immediately after leaving the television station.

“A few minutes ago something really unfortunate, worrisome and regrettable happened along Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Way by TOS Benson Crescent junction. Engr. Muazu Magaji was involved in an accident where his Honda car was pushed off the road and made to hit a street-light pole. Although he came out of the car looking unharmed, all the airbags were out.

“Apparently, it was a police operation because he was immediately arrested and forcefully taken to the Utako police station.

“As I write this I have been at the scene securing his car and we are now on our way to the police station. His bag and the battery of his car are with me,” said a witness.

Magaji, a former commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, was sacked by Ganduje over “insensitive comments” on the death of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

Since leaving the government, the former commissioner has been critical of the governor for his leadership style and for involving his family in state affairs.

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

He said Magaji’s alleged refusal to honour a 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.”

Daily Trust reports that the governor’s lawyer, Adekunle Taiye Falola, 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.

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