Bashir Ahmad, an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, has justified the over one-year detention of a pharmacist, Solomon Akuma, saying the detention was because Akuma threatened to hire an assassin to kill Buhari and his former Chief of Staff, the late Abba Kyari.
Ahmad stated this on Twitter, adding that there “is a price for that” and Akuma did not just criticise Buhari as being widely believed but wanted to pay an assassin.
Bashir Ahmad with President Buhari
It will be recalled that despite public outrage and criticisms from civil societies, a Federal High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Tuesday again refused to grant bail to Akuma, a pharmacist who criticised President Buhari on his Twitter page.
Akuma, 29, was arrested on April 2, 2020, in Aba, Abia State for allegedly making a social media post against the President and his late Chief of Staff, Kyari.
Akuma had spent three months in detention without a court order or trial until he was eventually arraigned for charges bordering on terrorism, sedition, criminal intimidation of the President, and threat to life of Buhari.
He had been languishing at the Force Criminal Investigation Department before the police lawyer, Victor Ogbudo, filed an application seeking the permission of the court to transfer the man from the police custody to the correctional centre.
The prosecution counsel claimed that the defendant was flouting the order of the police and that they could not cope with his behaviour in their custody any longer.
The presiding judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbajo, later in her ruling dismissed the bail application filed by his lawyer, Emmanuel Ukaegbu and ordered Akuma to be transferred and remanded at the correctional centre.
Activists, lawyers and civil society groups have condemned Akuma’s continued detention and called for his release, saying he did not commit any crime to warrant such a punishment.
The matter has been adjourned to April 23, 2021, for continuation of trial.
Reacting, presidential aide, Ahmad, stated on Twitter, that contrary to the claim, Solomon was arraigned in court for saying he would pay an assassin to kill President Buhari and his former Chief of Staff.
“For criticising Buhari? No, a few 100s criticise the President on daily, nothing has ever happened to them. For Akuma, it is not an issue of criticism, he publicly said that he will pay an assassin to kill the President and late CoS. We all ought to know, there is a price for that,” Ahmad tweeted.
SaharaReporters, New York