Publisher of a Niger State-based weekly newspaper, Mohammed Yahaya, has disclosed that he was detained by the Niger State Police Command on the instructions of the State Government over publications of vital documents already in public domain.
Usman, while lamenting the ill treatment melted to him for carrying out his constitutional duties, vowed to sue the State Government and the Police for unlawful detention.
Accordingly, he said: “My rights to freedom have been trampled upon.
“I was detained unjustly, the Police and those concerned have detained me unlawful.”
Usman, Director, Media and Communications to the Peoples Democratic Party governorship candidate in the last election, Umar Nasko, was accused of having access to vital documents and being a security threat.
According to him: “The State Government through Office of the Chief of Staff ordered my arrest and detention.
“I honoured the invitation, I was delayed for several hours, but was asked to go.
“At the state CID on Tuesday, I was being accused of being a security threat and divulging government secret.
“They told me of the existence of a petition from the office of the Chief of Staff accusing me of constituting myself into a security threat in the State by inciting the public through the disclosure of official and classified secrets and documents on various Social Media platforms.
“The petition, signed by Mohammed Abdullshi, Senior Personal Assistant to Chief of Staff Government House, Ibrahim Balarabe Kagara, wants the Police to investigate the source of the classified official document.
“I was first invited by the Police on Thursday last week, but was released on bail.
“The next day, which was Friday, while on my way to Abuja for a private business, I got a call and was asked to report to the State Criminal Investigation Department that same day.
“Despite all my explanations that I was out of town, they ordered me to report ‘in my own interest,’ an order I eventually obeyed and was subsequently detained till Saturday.”
The Minna-based Publisher was however allowed to go home on Saturday afternoon with instructions that he should report on Monday morning, which he did, but was kept waiting for several hours.
He said: “I was again asked to go and report back today (Tuesday) and after over five hours of waiting at the CIB office, they again asked me to go and report back on Wednesday, claiming they gave not completed their investigations.”
Investigations revealed that the “classified documents” was a letter from the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to the state House of Assembly, seeking approval from the House for “Restructuring of Existing N3.5 billion Revolving Overdraft into 36 Month Term Loan”.
It should be recalled that the letter was publicly read on the floor of the House and the loan request granted by the House.
Usman said: “I am not a political appointee.
“I am just a journalist doing my work as a required by law.
“It was a copy of this letter that was posted on the Social Media, especially my Facebook account.”