A youth leader in Adamawa State, Ikamu Hamidu Kato, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment for insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha has been released on bail.
Kato, who hails from the same local government area as the SGF, allegedly took to his Facebook page to condemn the insecurity in the area following recent attacks by armed men suspected to be Boko Haram members.
He was alleged to have also insulted Buhari and Mustapha in a viral video on his Facebook page.
However, in a follow-up video, Kato, a youth leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) apologised for the allegations levelled against him.
On Monday, Justice Dimas Gwama of the Magistrates’ Court IV in Yola, sentenced Kato, to two years imprisonment for insulting Buhari and Mustapha.
The court sentenced Kato to a one-year jail term in each of the offences with an option of N25,000 fine on each offence.
SaharaReporters learnt that Kato paid the N50, 000 after having been kept in detention for more than a week.
He told SaharaReporters that he was invited to the office of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Yola, the state capital last Monday, July 26.
According to him, he was kept in DSS custody till Thursday, July 29 after which he was transferred to a correctional centre in the state.
Kato further said he was taken to a court on Friday, July 30 where the verdict was given by Gwama.
“I was released on Monday on N50, 000 bail. I never insulted President Buhari. It was just a reference. I am an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and even voted for him in 2015, it was in 2019 I didn’t vote for him because I was already in PDP as at then. I voted for Atiku Abubakar.
“So, I was invited for questioning on Monday last week and I was detained in their cell till Thursday but I was not tortured or beaten. Then after those four days, I was taken to court, then they took me to prison, then yesterday (Monday) I was taken to court and from there, the judge gave the verdict and I paid the bail money.”
One of his relatives, Sanni Jauro, who spoke with SaharaReporters said he is surprised Kato will have such experience courtesy of a harmless social media post.
“Kato made a post on Facebook because there was a time there was an attack in our area so the SGF went to Hong with an aeroplane. He went briefly and returned to his base so Kato made a post that the SGF came with a plane, that so many things had been happening and he never came.
“He said he blamed Buhari for appointing SGF but I don’t think all these should warrant an arrest. They sentenced him to two years imprisonment for making the statements.
“This guy has given his all to Buhari; even though he was in the PDP, he supported Buhari. He never made a direct reference to Buhari, he only said he blamed President Buhari for appointing Boss Mustapha as the SGF.”
SaharaReporters had reported how the convict pleaded with the court on Thursday to temper justice with mercy by convicting him with an option of fine because he was a family man and had dependants.
Upon his arraignment before the court on last Friday, the convict pleaded guilty when the charge sheet was read and explained to him.
The court then adjourned the matter to Monday, August 2, 2021, to enable the complainant to call witnesses and tender exhibits in order to corroborate the plea of the defendant following an application by counsel for the complainant, M.A. Adamu.
During court sitting on Monday, the counsel assembled two witnesses including a DSS operative, Zayyanu Adamu and the Chairman, Adamawa State Concern Citizens, Husseini Gambo Nakura, who testified and tendered confessional statement of the defendant in a flash drive.
To show its disapproval of his action, the Hong local government chapter of the PDP had suspended the youth leader, saying it would not allow such indiscipline by its members even against leaders of the opposition political parties.