In June this year, the police in Kaduna State stormed the premises of businessman and former chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, PAN, Alhaji Sani Dauda, popularly known as ASD.
The police it turned out were acting on a report by the Kaduna State Urban Planning and Development Agency, KASUPDA, alleging that the businessman failed to comply with the building permit given to him by the agency and had gone ahead to build a Juma’at mosque in his premises.
Not quite five months after the incident which attracted lots of attention, ASD had another brush with the police.
On Monday, at about 4pm, police operatives again swooped on his residence and arrested the businessman.
This time, the police were said to have acted based on a report by Abubakar Musa Abubakar who reported the businessman for giving out his daughter, Nasiba, in marriage to another suitor.
Nasiba had been married to Abubakar and had sought to have the marriage dissolved. She had approached a Sharia Court in Tudun Wada, Kaduna, which dissolved the marriage in January 2018. Abubakar, her estranged husband, appealed the judgment insisting that the appeal court set aside the judgment of the lower Sharia court.
But the matter did not stop there as Nasiba also filed legal processes in two other courts intending to nullify the marriage between her and Abubakar and in the process made several allegations against the latter.
The matter further escalated on Saturday, November 9, following another marriage conducted between Nasiba and another suitor, Alhaji Abdullahi Kaluma with the full consent of her father.
The marriage took place in Kaduna but while it was going on, an attempt was made by an emissary to draw the attention of the Dauda family to the fact that the process was premature as there was a pending case over the matter in court but the messenger was harassed and asked to leave the premises.
Usman Tela, who spoke to our correspondent, said he is a relation of Abubakar and was aware of the court case, hence he tried to intervene.
“On hearing that there was going to be a marriage, I went to ASD’s house. I was told that the wedding would be by 1pm so I waited and later met ASD, his son and the judge who conducted the marriage, and told them that what they were about to do was wrong but he asked me to leave the premises. While I was going, they called me back and with the help of some policemen arrested me, took me inside a room and beat me up.”
Lead counsel to Abubakar said it was an emissary that reported the matter to the police, leading to the arrest of ASD alongside Murtala Nasir, the judge of Magajin Gari Sharia court in Kaduna, who conducted the marriage and Shehu Dauda, one of the sons of ASD.
The ASD family however explained that the marriage was conducted under Islamic laws and the Nigerian Constitution.
ASD said he gave out his daughter in marriage because her previous marriage had been officially dissolved.
The judge, who conducted the marriage, also justified the action explaining that, “The marriage between Nasiba, the daughter of Alhaji Sani Dauda, and her former husband Abubakar Musa Abubakar ended since January 5, 2018. And since then, there was no problem, or was there any existing order restraining her or her family from conducting a new marriage?”
So, on Saturday November 9, I conducted a new marriage between Nasiba and her new husband, Abdullahi Kaluma.”
Abubakar, who spoke through his lawyer, Barrister Rilwan Umar, said the marriage between him and Nasiba subsists since the matter has not been decided in court.
“The lower Sharia court dissolved the marriage but the Upper Sharia Court Tudun Wada set aside that judgment and Nasiba appealed against that judgment at the Sharia Court of Appeal that is pending and yet to be determined.
“Also, there’s a pending case at the FCT High court filed in September which is coming up on the 25th of November and at the same time another pending case at the Area court in Abuja.”
One of the counsels to ASD, Barrister Maxwell Kyon, described the action of the police against his clients as unfortunate, saying it’s only in Nigeria that things like these happen.
He also added that based on the information at their disposal, there is personal interest attached to the case, insisting that they have already secured a divorce from a Sharia court in Tudun Wada, Kaduna.
Barrister Kyon said the IGP as a lawyer by profession should respect the law by obeying the court order which was explicit.
But counsel to Abubakar said he has it on good authority from a close confidant of Abubakar and Nasiba that the circumstances that surrounded the marriage were not in any way the fault of Abubakar.
“In fact, Abubakar has only challenged the purported dissolution of the marriage sought by Nasiba and one Auwalu Falalu, on the grounds that due process was not adhered to, in line with Islamic Injunction. This was done by instituting an appeal at an Upper Sharia Court Kawo, Kaduna, where the judgment of the lower was competently set aside,” he said.
The counsel said Nasiba approached the Sharia Court of Appeal Kaduna in 2018, insisting on the dissolved marriage as pronounced by the lower court and went further to approach a FCT High Court, Lugbe, Abuja on the October 10, 2019, with the same prayers of appeal, which till this day is still pending and yet to be determined.
“Therefore, it is evident that till this day, no court of appellate or higher jurisdiction has set aside the judgment of the Upper Shariah Court which ruled in favor of Abubakar,” he added.
On the allegations made by Nasiba, he said Abubakar has never physically or emotionally assaulted her before.
“Nasiba’s cheap blackmail about the sexual orientation of Abubakar has hit a brick wall and only exists in a realm of fiction. Abubakar is a devout Muslim both in deed and character. Therefore, the allegation of homosexuality is in complete variance with who he is and the religion he practices. He has never been and will never be,” he stated.
ASD and the two others were however released on Thursday following an order restraining the police from arresting, detaining or in any other manner infringing on their rights pending the determination of the motion on notice.