Group Demands Immediate Release Of SOKAPU Spokesman

Southern and Middle Belt Alliance (SaMBA) has demanded the immediate release of the spokesman of Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU), Luka Biniyat by Governor Nasir El-rufai administration.
The group condemned the continuous detention of the Southern Kaduna-born journalist, wondering how a Nigerian citizen could be detained for two months in a civil matter.

SaMBA warned that the governor would be held responsible should anything happen to Biniyat.

In a statement signed by Prince Rwang Pam Jnr., SaMBA stated that while Biniyat’s illegal detention at the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Kaduna was at the instance of the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan, the facts show that it enjoys the approval of the governor.

SaMBA also warned Aruwan that he would not remain in corridors of power for life.

The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the continued detention of the spokesman of the SOKAPU, Biniyat for the past two months on the orders of a Magistrate Court in Kaduna on the trumped-up charges filed by Governor El-rufai’s administration, using the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security, Mr. Samuel Aruwan.

“It is shocking and alien to democratic traditions that a matter that ought to be civil in nature is twisted into a high-profile criminal case traceable to terrorism and therefore, brought under the Terrorism Prevention Act. There is no doubt that the Kaduna State government is using its DPP to haunt and use the judiciary in persecuting its perceived enemies.

“The SOKAPU spokesman was arraigned before the Magistrate Court on an initial offence of injurious falsehood, which is ordinarily bailable. However, when the bail application was moved before the Magistrate, the Kaduna State government through its DPP quickly filed charges of Internet stalking, etc. under the Terrorism Prevention Act that is not ordinarily bailable.

“This move was clearly targeted at keeping Biniyat in prison until his application for bail is heard by a superior court. SaMBA is appalled by this crude and inhuman use of institutions of state to harass, humiliate and persecute citizens by a so-called democratic government.”

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The group, therefore, called on the state government to quickly refrain from the persecution of Biniyat and allow him to enjoy his liberty as provided by the Nigerian constitution until such a time that such liberty is taken away at the conclusion of his trial if any, warning that if anything untoward happens to him, while “under this persecution, the Kaduna State government should be held responsible.”

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