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Audu Maikori Released On Bail As Trial On Exercise Of Free Speech Commences

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Nigerian entertainment mogul Audu Maikori arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police on Friday over a Facebook post on the Southern Kaduna crisis has been granted bail by a Kaduna State magistrate court following a bail application by his defence counsels on health grounds.

The prosecution did not object to the application.

According to an online newspaper, Signal, Audu Maikori was rushed to a Kaduna State Police medical facility following diagnosis of a respiratory infection on Monday.

News of the development led to intense social media outrage with Nigerian citizens calling for his immediate release.

Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani, also on Monday, demanded the immediate release of Mr. Maikori, describing the latest arrest and incarceration of the Chocolate City boss as an affront to constitutional democracy.

“The case of Audu is becoming a stain and embarrassment to our country as a constitutional democracy,” Mr. Sani said in a statement.

Mr. Maikori collapsed last week at an event in Lagos fuelling concerns about his health condition.

The court has adjourned his trial to 20th April, 2017.

Audu Maikori Marked

Maikori, was recently the target of the All Progressives Congress’ online attack squad, after he relayed a story about the killing of 6 students of a college of education by Fulani herdsmen terrorists on Twitter.

After intense scrutiny, he discovered that his driver had lied to him about the attack which, Simon, the driver, had said his brother was killed.

Audu Maikori issued a retraction and an apology for the misleading report.

Meanwhile, Governor Nasir El Rufai, in his usual vindictive approach to governance, has threatened to deal with Maikori and other indigenes of Southern Kaduna who advocate against the systematic killings of their people who are dominantly Christian, and therefore, killed by an organised Islamist terrorist group, the Fulani herdsmen militia.

El Rufai, is a Muslim Fulani, and has used his position as governor to defend the Fulani herdsmen and threaten Christians from Southern Kaduna who dare to speak up on the genocide.

A journalist in Vanguard, Luka Binniyat, who relied on Maikori’s driver as the source for reporting on a story about the on-going genocide in Southern Kaduna was also arrested and interrogated by the country’s secret police, charged to court by the Kaduna State government, and remanded in prison on the orders of Governor Nasir El Rufai.

The Southern Kaduna Genocide

Southern Kaduna, a predominantly Christian area of the Northern state of Kaduna in Nigeria, has come under heavy and systematic ethnic and religious cleansing.

Terrorists operating under the umbrellas of the Islamist Fulani Herdsmen Militia, the 4th most deadly terrorist group in the world has been attacking communities in Southern Kaduna, killing, and maiming Christians and burning homes and churches.

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State has publicly admitted that his government has found the members of the Fulani militia perpetuating the killing in Southern Kaduna and he has paid them a “compensation” for them to stop the killings. The governor revealed that the militia is made up of Fulani nomads from neighboring Cameroon, Mali, Niger and other countries.

The victims of these murders are Christians and their attackers are on an ethnic and religious cleaning mission, according to the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN.

While Christians leaders have called on communities under attack to defend themselves against their attackers, Muslim clerics in Kaduna have called for the arrest of Christian religious and political leaders from Kaduna and other parts of the country who have called on Christians to defend themselves against their attackers.

These exchanges have led to an intense political environment.

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