POLICE ARREST, DETAIN WHISTLEBLOWER OVER PETITION FROM FORMER AGF, MALAMI
A Katsina State-born businessman and critic of the Nigerian government, Mahdi Shehu, has been arrested and detained by the police in Abuja.
Sources said Shehu was arrested on Tuesday following a petition from the law office of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on behalf of the former minister and his family.
A source close to Shehu confirmed the arrest and detention, saying the businessman and whistleblower was still being detained by the police.
“I was told that he was arrested pursuant to a petition written by the chambers of the former AGF, Abubakar Malami on behalf of Malami and his family. The letter came with the letterhead of A.A. Malami & Co. Law Office and the petition is on behalf of Malami and his family.
“He was arrested by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters IN Abuja,” the source said.
The source, however, added that he didn’t have the details of the petition.
The source further revealed that his arrest could be connected to the allegations he made against Malami in the past.
Meanwhile, Shehu’s mobile phone lines were not available at the time of filing this report, so he could not be reached.
In June 2023, Shehu alleged that Malami and the then-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), AbdulRasheed Bawa tried to use the naira redesign policy to install an interim government, which would have ensured that President Bola Tinubu did not emerge as President.
He called for the arrest of Malami following the arrest of Bawa, tweeting, “ARREST MALAMI NOW OR RELEASE BAWA BECAUSE: He nominated him. He supervised him. He teleguided him. Malami prosecuted cases selectively. He discharged & acquited suspects by cherry-picking. He ignored several court orders. He holds the judiciary in contempt.”
According to Shehu, former President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the policy without knowing there was a hidden agenda behind it.
He also tweeted, “Emefiele, Bawa & ongoing investigation so far: For certain political(mis) calculations, Malami prompted Bawa to write a memo to PMB recommending for Naira redesign.
“Malami endorsed the memo & forwarded to PMB, who blindly directed EME to implement. It was all about INTERIM GOVT.”
Between November and December 2020, Shehu was also detained for 11 days between on the orders of the then-Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The IGP Monitoring Unit operatives arrested him over corruption allegations against then-Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, then-Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, other officials and contractors.
Shehu, in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accused the government of squandering N52 billion between 2015 and 2020, among others.
But the FCT High Court ordered Shehu’s release on December 18 and declared the applicant’s arrest and detention as illegal.
The court subsequently awarded N5 billion in damages against the Nigeria Police and the IGP.He was rearrested on February 16, 2021, but the Federal High Court again ordered the police to release Shehu from detention.