Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani, on Monday demanded the immediate release of Audu Maikori, describing the latest arrest and incarceration of the Chocolate City boss as an affront to constitutional democracy.
“The case of Audu is becoming a stain and embarrassment to our country as a constitutional democracy,” Mr. Sani said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES Monday morning. “He should be released or charged to court and without extra-legal interference.”
The demand came hours after Mr. Maikori’s associate and lawyer, John Danfulani, told PREMIUM TIMES the label executive took ill at the police facility where he was held and was rushed to the hospital Sunday night.
“He had since regained his consciousness and fine now,” Mr. Danfulani told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone. “He just had a brief respiratory crisis and had been returned to custody.”
Mr. Sani, a civil rights activist, said allegations of hate speech and incitement must not be used as a “smokescreen to stifle dissent or persecute people for their right to freely express their opinion.”
“Civil liberties and freedom must not be strangulated under the guise of security exigencies. As a democracy, we must learn to balance our obligation to respect constitutional rights and the urgency to tackle a persistent danger,” he said.
Mr. Sani urged concerned authorities to channel their attention and resources towards holistic eradication of pastoralists’ clashes across the country.
“Armed herdsmen represent a collective danger that needs a collective response,” Mr. Sani said. “An onslaught against armed herdsman is what is needed and not an onslaught against freedom of speech.Premium Times