Lawyer Arrested in Connection with Tweets

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Audu Maikori, a Lawyer and record label owner was arrested on February 17, 2017 by men of the Nigerian Police in connection with some tweets on his twitter handle.

Maikori alleged, in his tweets on January 23, 2017, that five students of Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya, Kafanchan, were murdered by Fulani herdsmen.

He specifically tweeted: “My driver’s younger brother and five other students of college of education, Gidan Waya, were ambushed and killed by herdsmen yesterday #SouthernKaduna.”

Maikori, hearing that the School management denied the killing of any student; the condemnation of the misinformation by the Kaduna State Government and its vow to prosecute rumor peddlers, retracted his tweet and apologized for the false information stating that he was apparently misinformed by one of his staff.

Maikori was however arrested, on a warrant issued by a Magistrate, by the Nigerian Police in Lagos and relocated to the Nigerian Police Force Headquarters in Abuja.

Southern Kaduna has for some time been under siege of suspected herdsmen who have allegedly been killing, maiming and destroying farmlands and properties of residents of the area. These acts have become a concern to Nigerians and particularly to human rights experts and activists.

However, Human Rights activists, lawyers and citizen journalists condemned Maikori’s arrest and several social media campaigns were held advocating the release of the Lawyer with the hashtags #FreeAUDU, #FreeNIGERIA.

Though Maikori was released from Police custody on February 18, 2017, his arrest was widely condemned because he had retracted his tweets, alleged to be capable of inciting youths against the Kaduna State Government.

The record label owner also apologized through the social media platform and other channels he used in making the earlier statement, before he was arrested.