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The media was awash with reports of my political arraignment before Chief Magistrate Court One Gusau reportedly on two (2) count charges of Criminal Conspiracy and Attempt to Commit Offence to wit Criminal Misappropriation against Section 97 and 95 of the Penal Code. Further to this, it was also reported that I neither appeared before the Court nor sent legal representation to enter plea on my behalf.

Ordinarily, I should have ignored the said news for what it is – trash orchestrated and oiled by those who are trying hard and desperately too to soil my hard earned reputation for political exigencies of the moment. Furthermore, this treatise has become imperative to also deconstruct the saying that when lies are told and remain unchallenged they will assume the toga of truth. It is on this premise that I will respond to the said state-sponsored mischief and media trial in order to set the record straight.

It is no secret that in recent times there exist a frosty relationship between myself and the Zamfara State Government and its handlers over exercising my democratic right to aspire for an elective position as Member House of Representatives, Bungudu/Maru Federal Constituency of Zamfara State at the concluded APC House of Representatives Primaries a fortnight ago. It is a well known fact that my insistence to take part in the primaries despite a sharing accord reached by the so called ‘’Owners’’ of Zamfara State has pitched me against the very mighty and powerful political elite who hold sway as directors of Zamfara State Limited Liability Company. These vested interests are further infuriated by my attempt to seek for redress at the Court of competent jurisdiction over what is now termed as the democratic robbery of the century.

It is a public knowledge that the Zamfara State Governor, Hon. Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun) entered into a pact with those he considers as his political adversaries and allocated all contestable seats to themselves, family members, friends and political associates in a manner that is akin to coronation rather than election in clear contravention of the APC Constitution, the 2022 Electoral act (as amended) and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

From day one I knew what I was up against that the journey I embarked upon is a very dangerous one with potentials of intimidation, harassments, blackmail, threats to life and bodily harm in order to submit to the whims and caprices of the vested interests best described as ‘’Zamfara Mafias’’ but I am always consoled by the fact that no sacrifice is too much to ensure the enthronement of true democracy in all ramifications. I am well aware that I can be visited with thuggery or even targeted for political assassination for standing up against political slavery by challenging the status quo.

I have served Governor Bello Matawalle and his led administration with passion, dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment, probity and accountability in the most transparent manner possible in one of the most challenging environment I have ever come across where honesty is seen as mirage and where advancing the interest of commoners for the overall public good amounts to suicide. It was sure like the day and night that clash with vested interests would be imminent once your perception and understanding of governance revolves around service delivery to improve security, education, healthcare, social safety among others, and enthrone transparency and accountability on how government businesses are run.

My witch-hunt started long time ago as Deputy Chief of Staff (2020 – 2021) over my role or intervention on the following key issues:

a. Insistence on Due Process and ensuring that the Governor attend to official matters at all times. Hitherto files stays up to six (6) months or more at Governor’s office unattended.
b. The signing of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) bill into law
c. ZASCO – Farmers – Access Bank – SMOF – Heritage Bank Fertilizer debacle
d. SMOH Health Infrastructure Building Projects
e. Some key appointments where merit was promoted rather than sycophancy amongst
f. Payment of outstanding debt to WAEC and NECO Examination bodies
g. Advocating for permanent solution in the payment of local and foreign Scholarship and the issue revolving around stranded scholars abroad

Secondly, my stint at the Hospital Services Management Board (HSMB) as the Executive Chairman was one characterized by major reforms that dislodged the powerful and untouchable within the system. That also threw me into an open confrontation with their so called godfathers and godmothers who vowed to deal with me for disrupting their business enterprise at HSMB. Some of the things that pitted me against the cartel and their backers at HSMB include the followings:

i. Stopping of Illegal replacement and Cash for Offer
ii. Sanitizing the payroll, detection of ghost workers and removal of same (Out of 3816 Staff on HSMB Payroll only about 2300 are traceable)
iii. Carried out the most transparent recruitment process during which only those with the right qualifications were considered as against what is obtainable in the past where you will find those with BSc Hausa, Arabic, History, NCE on the payroll of HSMB.
iv. Carried out massive staff transfer across all hospitals under HSMB (anyone found to have spent at least 5 years or more in one facility was transferred to another) having discovered that staff spends an average of 15 – 25 years in one hospital where they became lords and turn government hospital into private enterprise. This did not go down well with those who mean no well for Zamfara State and its people.
v. Initiate Digitization of HSMB System to promote transparency and efficiency in hospital administration, finances and operations.

My avowed commitment to uphold due process and my vehement resistance to not be influenced in my official conduct by political exigencies so as not to betray public trust as public servant created enemies and adversaries for me who have sworn to destroy me at all cost.

A campaign of calumny was launched against me around the 3rd of March, 2022 or thereabout with a view to whip me into submission and cajole me to the bidding of the vested interests at the peak of the HSMB recruitment process. I was reliably informed then that the Zamfara State Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Kabiru Balarabe (Sardaunan Dan Isah) in active collaboration with the Permanent Secretary Zamfara State Government House, Gusau, Abubakar Jaafaru (Abu Maradun) were detailed to spearhead an onslaught against me, have sent a detachment of police to recall back my official vehicle. It was the Governor who forwarded to me a supposed forge document covering the official hilux vehicle. While the SSG revealed to me that the car was discovered at a car stand in Sokoto marked for sale.

Upon this discovery and based on the information supplied to me by both the Governor and SSG, I assumed so to be true but only to later discovered it was an arrangement to blackmail me so as to achieve a predetermined end by attempting to destroy my reputation, force me to resign and assassinate my character. This they think can silence me from being critical of mis-governance from within the system. After all entreaties through emissaries to resign my appointment I refused to capitulate and insisted on my innocence because I can clearly see beyond the façade.

Subsequently, I received an invitation letter from the SSG’s Office dated 8th March, 2022 titled Police Investigation requesting me to attend an interview session with the Deputy Commissioner of Police (SCID) through the Assistant Commissioner of Police (SCID), Zamfara State Police Command, Gusau, on Wednesday 9th March, 2022 at 10:00am. An Invitation I promptly honoured, upon my arrival at the State CID, I was taken through a lengthy interview sessions with both the Assistant and Deputy Commissioner of Police (SCID) and thereafter was asked to make a formal statement of which I also obliged. However, a detention order was filled against me that I be committed to police cell but upon the intervention of my lawyer I was granted bail and told to resume Monday the subsequent week and since then I have visited the State CID at least 5 times and on each occasion I was told the police are still investigating the matter. Since April however, I have not been invited by the investigating authority either directly or through my Counsel. The falsehood being peddled around that I am at large is not only ridiculous but a smear media trial aimed at defaming me in the public court without fair hearing, it is also not true that my legal representation was not in Court, Barr. Ahmed Muhammed has been my legal representative since the beginning of this state-sponsored political witch-hunt and was in Court yesterday to represent me but no mention of my name was ever done by the prosecuting Counsel but only done with the media as it has been the agenda from day one.

Let me at this juncture shed more light on this hyper-exaggerated issue. Evidently, the said vehicle in contention is one of the 200 hilux vehicles purchased from Local Governments Joint Account for security as operation vehicles to enhance security surveillance, deployment and operations, and I was then responsible for the distribution of those vehicles alongside the immediate past Chief Security Office to the Governor. These vehicles were distributed to command and formations of Army, Police, Airforce and Paramilitary security forces to beef up the fight against ravaging insecurity. The vehicle was allocated to me as the then overseer of the deployment and supervising authority. Same was allocated to 2 CSO (Police and DSS), ADC. Others were allocated to the 14 Local Government Chairmen of Zamfara State. Unfortunately, more than 35% – 40% of those vehicles were dashed to family members, friends and political associates in far away Kano, Kogi, Osun, Nasarawa, Abuja, Borno, Adamawa, Zamfara and others. A proper detail of such distribution will be provided in due course for the public to have insight of the happenings behind the scenes. Sadly, most of those vehicles have been sold out by the beneficiaries of the Governor’s largesse. I am challenging the Zamfara State Governor to assembled just 15% of all official vehicles allocated since May 29, 2019.

After the sham primary election, I have been prevailed upon not to seek legal redress in Court, a plea I objected to, haven already filed a suit before the Federal High Court Gusau praying for the annulment of the primary election as it was carried out in violation of APC Constitutions/Guidelines and 2022 Electoral act (as amended).

Since then, I have been subjected to emotional torture having gathered on good authority that the Zamfara State Governor has ordered my arrest and torture on trumped up and phantom charges, and I fear for a state sponsored disappearance, programmed accidental death in prison through poisoning or other forms of state sponsored murder.

For over two (2) week now, I have been on self-imposed exile outside of Zamfara State, when I learnt of the Governor’s directives for my arrest via a credible source within the Government Circle, a directives currently being championed by the Governor’s Chief Security Officer CSP Ibrahim Angbasa in active connivance with the Zamfara State Secretary to the State Government Alh. Kabir Balarabe (Sardaunan Dan Isah) through manhunt and tracking to bring me in dead or alive in order to summarily arraign me before Zamfara State High Sharia Court and eventually send me to prison where I fear that my murder will be executed over a case of alleged forgery of a hillux vehicle allocated to me, of which the principal suspect have exonerated my involvements via a voluntary statement he made to the police team investigating the case. It should also be noted that the State Government has taken repossession of the said vehicle and reallocated same to another person.

The Governor through his proxies has consistently reached out to the so called principal suspect with monetary inducement to indict me to fulfill their desire of blackmailing me to keep me shut from future political aspirations. A request the said suspect has vehemently turned down and chosen rather to be on the path of truth and honor. The Governor should allow the wheels of justice spin unimpeded and if I am truly guilty the Courts will determine the desperate attempts to give a dog a bad name just to hang it shows desperation and unethical politicking. I have had stellar antecedents of service at various rungs and have never been found wanting. The concerned public is invited to conduct independent scrutiny on my person and pedigree.

To buttress the desperation of the Governor, the CSO to the Governor has abdicated all his responsibilities in the last 3 weeks and has now relocated his office albeit temporarily to the State CID based on the Governor’s instruction to prosecute me whether guilty or not and to deploy media propaganda in fullest to tarnish my image. Alas, all has backfired. Throughout the court proceedings of yesterday the CSO was in the court room to ensure the Governor’s order is effected as instructed.

Immediately after the media trial within court premises the Governor was sending Whatsapp broadcast messages to his appointees and political attack dogs to smear my name, and it is on record that both print and electronic media were paid handsomely to air the state-sponsored propaganda. If the could devote half of the time he is using to blackmail to address issues of insecurity frontally Zamfara State would achieve an appreciable level of security across our towns and villages. Tragically, in the last 3 weeks bandits had a field day in Zamfara killing over hundred defenceless citizens and ransacking hundreds of villages and adding to the numbers of thousands of displaced refugees in the state while the Governor is on political jamboree in far away Abuja. Allah ya kyauta!

Let me reiterate that I am a law abiding citizens and will honour police invitation or court summons when properly served as I have nothing to hide in all my dealings. I and my legal Team are thoroughly studying the developments and in due course we shall file a defamation suit against the person of the Governor and the Zamfara State government. My hard earned integrity cannot be impinged upon or eroded for the political ululation of the Zamfara Political Mafia. Justice must be served fair and square.

Dr. Muhammad Bashir Maru
2023 APC Aspirant for Bungudu/Maru Federal Constituency

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Some suspected gunmen blocked the Kaura Namoda-Shinkafi Highway on Wednesday at around 12:00pm and opened fire on a Golf car which was driving toward Shinkafi from Kaura Namoda.

According to a source, the bandits laid ambush on the incoming car and opened fire on the passengers conveyed inside the car.

Two persons were killed instantly while four others were wounded and rushed to the General Hospital, Kaura Namoda.

According to the source, the injured after receiving first aid treatment were later moved to an advance health facility in Gusau for advance medical attention.

Effort to speak to the Police Spokesperson SP Shehu Muhammad has failed as at the time of filing this report

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The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi, has confirmed the missing of about 600 inmates from the Medium Security Custodial Centre, Kuje, as 300 inmates were retrieved from bushes.

Speaking with newsmen, in Abuja, Magashi said they suspect the attack was carried out by the Boko-Haram terrorist sect.

He said, “They attempted the initial entry with a very high explosive, but they were unsuccessful”.

According to him, after the unsuccessful first attempt, then they attacked another section of the wall with even higher grade explosive which brought the wall down.

He explained that the forces on the ground did everything they could to repel them but the number of the terrorists they came with was overwhelming which they were not able to fight against.

“The incident took about 30 minutes, before the reinforcements arrived”.
The Minister gave the figure of the inmates at about 994 inmates in the prison.

“We understand, the attackers were Boko Haram, and they came specifically to get their co-conspirators freed”, he added.
He lamented that majority of the terrorists freed from the prison are now in the general population.

“But many of them have returned, they have reported themselves to the police, some we have successfully retrieved from the bushes where they were hiding”, The Minister added.

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Katsina state police command has announced the murder of ACP Aminu Umar during a special operation along at Zakka village in Safana local government area of the state.

The Spokesperson of the police in Katsina SP Gambo Isah said in a statement that, one other police operative also lost his life during the operation.

“ A distress call was received that terrorists numbering over three hundred (300), on motorcycles, shooting sporadically with AK 47 rifles and General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), ambushed ACP Aminu Umar, Area Commander, Dutsinma and team, while on clearance operation of recalcitrant bandits/terrorists, in Zakka forest, Safana LGA of Katsina state”.

“Consequently, the Area Commander and one other gallantly lost their lives during a cross exchange of gun fire”.

According to Gambo Isah the Police Commissioner condoles the families of the deceased and prayed for God almighty to grant the deceased eternal rest.

He re-affirms the commitment of the police in fighting insecurity and insurgency and ensure that peace has returned to the state.

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