Criticising Buhari not an offence, release Ganduje’s aide — Falana

Femi Falana Criticising Buhari not an offence, release Ganduje’s aide — Falana

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has demanded the release of the sacked Special Adviser on Media to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Salisu Tanko-Yakassai, who was arrested by the Department of State Services for criticising President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress.

Tanko-Yakassai was arrested on Friday and also pronounced sacked by Ganduje same day.

Falana, the Chairman of Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, in a statement on Sunday said chieftains of the APC, including President Muhammadu Buhari, equally criticised former President Goodluck Jonathan and asked for his resignation when they were in opposition to the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

He said: “On Friday, February 27, 2021, Mr. Salisu Tanko-Yakassai, the Special Adviser on Media to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state called on President Muhammadu Buhari to either guarantee the security of the Nigerian people or resign from office. Even though Mr. Tanko-Yakassai was legitimately exercising his freedom of expression enshrined in section 39 of the Constitution, he was sacked by Governor Ganduje and arrested by the State Security Service. ASCAB has confirmed that Mr. Tanko-Yakassai is being held incommunicado in an undisclosed detention facility.

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“Having regard to the fact that civil rights advocates, retired military officers and political party leaders including chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have repeatedly asked President Buhari to call it quits due to the worsening insecurity in the country, there is no justification whatsoever for the arrest and detention of Mr. Tanko-Yakassai. In both chambers of the National Assembly, there have been strident calls by legislators for President Buhari’s resignation or impeachment on the ground that criminal gangs have taken over the monopoly of violence in the country. Since such concerned citizens were never arrested the ongoing harassment of Mr. Tanko-Yakassai is high handed, discriminatory and illegal.”

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