BREAKING: Nigeria Police Release Whistleblower, Mahdi Shehu After 11-Day Illegal Detention  

The Nigeria Police Force has released a Katsina State-born businessman and critic of the Nigerian government, Mahdi Shehu, who was earlier arrested and detained by the police in Abuja.

SaharaReporters confirmed that Shehu was released on Saturday night by the police.

Sources had told SaharaReporters that Shehu was arrested on February 6 following a petition from the law office of a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) on behalf of the former minister and his family.

A source close to Shehu had confirmed the arrest and detention to SaharaReporters, saying the businessman and whistleblower was detained by the police.

“I was told that he was arrested pursuant to a petition written by the chambers of the former AGF, Abubakar Malami on behalf of Malami and his family. The letter came with the letterhead of A.A. Malami & Co. Law Office and the petition is on behalf of Malami and his family.
“He was arrested by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters IN Abuja,” the source had said.

SaharaReporters had learnt that his arrest could be connected to the allegations he made against Malami in the past.

It had also been  reported that M. I. Abubakar, a lawyer representing Mahdi Shehu, accused Malami and other cabals in Muhammadu Buhari’s immediate past government of using the police detention to silence his client for demanding accountability from them.

In June 2023, Shehu had alleged that Malami and the then-Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), AbdulRasheed Bawa tried to use the naira redesign policy to install an interim government, which would have ensured that President Bola Tinubu did not emerge as President.

He had called for the arrest of Malami following the arrest of Bawa, tweeting, “ARREST MALAMI NOW OR RELEASE BAWA BECAUSE: He nominated him. He supervised him. He teleguided him. Malami prosecuted cases selectively. He discharged &  acquited suspects by cherry-picking. He ignored several court orders. He holds the judiciary in contempt.”

According to Shehu, former President Muhammadu Buhari endorsed the policy without knowing there was a hidden agenda behind it.

He also had tweeted, “Emefiele, Bawa & ongoing investigation so far: For certain political(mis) calculations, Malami prompted Bawa to write a memo to PMB recommending for Naira redesign.
“Malami endorsed the memo & forwarded to PMB, who blindly directed EME to implement. It was all about INTERIM GOVT.”
Between November and December 2020, Shehu was also detained for 11 days between on the orders of the then-Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The IGP Monitoring Unit operatives arrested him over corruption allegations against then-Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, then-Secretary to the State Government, Mustapha Inuwa, other officials and contractors.
Shehu, in a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), accused the government of squandering N52 billion between 2015 and 2020, among others.
But the FCT High Court ordered Shehu’s release on December 18 and declared the applicant’s arrest and detention as illegal.
The court subsequently awarded N5 billion in damages against the Nigeria Police and the IGP.
He was rearrested on February 16, 2021, but the Federal High Court again ordered the police to release Shehu from detention. 

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