Human Rights Activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana, has condemned the arrest and detention of the former Special Adviser on Media to the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, Salihu Tanko-Yakasai,
In a statement on Sunday, Falana said that Salihu is being held incommunicado in an undisclosed detention facility, for merely exercising his freedom of expression as enshrined in Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Falana recalled that between 2013 and 2014, the Leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, including Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinibu, Nasir El-Rufai, and Lai Mohammed, repeatedly asked former President Goodluck Jonathan to resign.
He said that they were never subjected to any form of intimidation, for exercising their freedom of expression at that material time.
He wondered why Salihu would be arrested, after many civil society, Chieftains of the APC, and both Chambers of the National Assembly, have called for President Buhari’s resignation or impeachment, over the incessant insecurity in the country.
His words: “The decision of the founding fathers of the present Constitution which guarantees freedom of speech, which must include freedom to criticise, should be praised, and any attempt to derogate from it, except as provided by the Constitution, must be resisted.
“Those in public office should not be intolerant of criticism in respect of their office so as to ensure that they are accountable to the people. They should not be made to feel that they live in an ivory tower and therefore belong to a different class. They must develop thick skins and where possible, plug their ears with wool if they feel too sensitive or irascible.
“In view of the foregoing, we demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Tanko-Yankasai from illegal custody. However, if the State Security Service has evidence that the political detainee has committed any criminal offence known to law he should be transferred to the Police for proper investigation and possible prosecution without any delay.”