Two hundred and fifty women groups known as Feminist Womanifesto, yesterday petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over the detention of Aminu Muhammed and Zainab Kassim.
Muhammed, a 23-year-old student of the Department of Environmental Management and Toxicology, Federal University of Dutse, was arrested on November 8, by security officers for a tweet that allegedly mocked Aisha Buhari.
Kassim, who served as a social media aide to Mrs Buhari was said to have also been beaten and arrested.
In a letter dated December 1, the group accused Buhari of abusing her office, adding that the situation was aberration to the rule of law and the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence.
Its Convener, Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, said: “The development is unacceptable in a civilian regime; the rule of law is expected to be prioritized in all arrests.
“Furthermore, in this period marking 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, no leader, and certainly not a female leader should be associated with such abuses of power. No one should be above the law.
“We believe that the actions constitute a gross violation of human right to personal liberty, freedom of speech and right to seek legal counsel.
“These actions also infringe on Section 35, Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which states that an arrested person must be brought before a competent court of law within reasonable time of 48 hours.
“It has been over 21 days since their arrest. We are worried about the continued detention of these citizens and its implications on the country’s human rights reputation.
“We are compelled to write to your esteemed office to demand immediate investigation of the arrest, detention and assault of Aminu Muhammed and Zainab Kassim.”
Afolabi-Brown, also demanded the Office of the First Lady of Nigeria to “respond to the allegation for the sake of public good and accountability.”