Saida Saad Bugaje, an activist and wife of a renowned politician, Usman Bugaje, is currently facing harassment by the police for criticizing the governor of Kano State over alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 funds.
The police reportedly attempted to arrest the activist in her Kaduna home to face charges of criminal defamation.
In a scathing revelations, Mrs Bugage had said in the video that the governor was using the pandemic to enrich himself.
However, 49 Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have signed a petition, calling on the police to desist from laying siege to Mrs Bugaje’s house.
“On Wednesday, 16/9/20, about 5pm, Barrister Sa’ida Sa’ad was at her matrimonial home in Kaduna when a group of men and women in mufti banged on the house claiming they were policemen from Kano who had been sent to Kaduna to arrest her, take her to Kano for interrogation and prosecution for defamation against the Kano State Government,” the group said.
“They arrived in an unmarked bus and silver Honda car. They were led by one ASP Zainab. Given the spate of kidnappings in the country and the fact that they had no arrest warrant, she refused to come out of the house and were eventually persuaded to leave.
“Then yesterday, Friday afternoon at about 1.15 pm, when most men have gone to the mosque, a team of police came with an arrest warrant. They forced their way into the house asking for Sa’ida and intimidating the household, taking pictures of number plates of the cars in the house. Saida was not found in the house, so after sometime they left.
“Sa’ida had many months ago at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic done a short audio clip saying the Kano Governor is trying to make money of the Covid-19 program which went viral and could not have sunk well with the governor or his supporters. Apparently, it is payback time for the Governor:
“Barrister Sai’da Saad is willing and ready for any charges the Kano State Government might have as long as correct procedure is followed. We have a number of questions:
On what authority did these police personnel leave their jurisdiction, come to Kaduna to arrest her without a warrant?
“Why do State Governors feel empowered to illegally use police officials to go to different States in the country to arrest their critics?”
Below is the list of the CSOs that signed the petition.
1. Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD)
2. Centre for Democratic Research and Training (CRDDERT)
3. Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
4. Women In Media
5. Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD)
6. Organization for Community Civic(OCCEN)
7. Zero-Corruption Coalition (ZCC)
8 Accountability Maternal New-born and Child Health in Nigeria (AMHiN)
9. Partners on Electoral Reform
10. African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
11. National Procurement Watch Platform
12. Say NO Campaign—Nigeria
13. Resource Centre for Human Rights and Civil Education (CHRICED)
14. Social Action
15. Community Action for Popular Participation
16. Borno Coalition for Democracy and Progress (BOCODEP)
17. Global Rights
18. Alliance for Credible Elections (ACE)
19. Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA)
20 . Tax Justice and Governance Platform
21. Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria
22. Women In Nigeria
23. African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD
24.Women Advocate Research And Documentation Centre
26.Community Life Project
27.Nigerian Feminist Forum
28.Alliances for Africa
29. Spaces for Change
30.Nigerian Women Trust Fund
31.Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa
32. BudgiT Foundation
33. State of the Union (SOTU)
34.Basic Rights Action
35.Femi Falana Chamber
36.Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution
37.Kano Civil Society Forum
38. Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre(RULAAC)
39.Network for Development Foundation (NDF)Kano
40. Professor Jibrin Ibrahim
Senior Fellow Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja
43.Media Rights Agenda
44.Centre for Labour Studies
45.Hauwa Shekarau Chamber
46.Partners West Africa
47.International Press Centre
48.Women’sRights Advancement and Protection Alternative(WRAPA)
49.Socio Economic Rights & Accountability (SERAP)