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Police arrest Sokoto Islamic scholar over comments on El-Rufa’i

Governor Nasir El-Rufai
Governor Nasir El-Rufai

A Sokoto based Islamic scholar, Malam Bello Yabo, has been arrested by the police in Sokoto and taken to Kaduna for allegedly making disparaging remarks against Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, Daily Trust gathered yesterday.

Malam Yabo was arrested around 4pm on Friday and according to reliable information, he was taken to Kaduna where he would be charged.

Malam Abdullahi Abubakar Yabo, who claimed to be the nephew of the scholar, told our reporter that some policemen came to his residence while he was saying the Asr prayer and immediately after, they called him aside and showed him a paper which turned out to be the warrant of arrest issued by a Magistrate court in Kaduna.

“After reading the paper, Malam did not utter a word, he just moved into his house, came back and entered their vehicle. It was after they left that he called and notified us about the arrest, that the Attorney General of Kaduna State had written a petition against him over his recent remarks against their governor,” Abdullahi said.

Abdullahi later told our reporter on phone that Malam called again to tell them that he would be taken to court after the Sallah break.

Yabo in a video clip believed to be recorded in one of his Ramadan preachings condemned El-Rufa’i and scholars in Kaduna State for the continuous ban on religious gatherings in the state.

In the video, he criticized the Kaduna State Council of Ulamah for allowing what he described as a ‘small bird’ to be dictating to them.

The spokesman of the Sokoto State Police Command, ASP Muhammad Sadiq,  could not be reached at the time of filing this report but an officer privy to the arrest said it was carried out by men of the Kaduna Police Command with the support of the Sokoto Command.

A reliable source in Kaduna told our correspondent that his arrest was effected by police officers from Kaduna State command, adding that the cleric had been transferred to Kaduna to make a statement.

“He was arrested based on some allegations against him by the Kaduna State government. He is presently in Kaduna and I assure you there is no way he will be able to spend Sallah in Sokoto,” he said.

It would be recalled the cleric was arrested and detained during a past administration in Sokoto State over a similar offence.

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