The police in Kaduna on Sunday denied being responsible for the arrest and incarceration of Audu Maikori, CEO of Chocolate City Entertainment, who has been at loggerheads with the Kaduna State government for alleged incitement to violence.
“We’re not aware of his arrest,” Kaduna police spokesperson, Aliyu Usman, told Premium Times on Sunday afternoon.
The disclosure, which was made after two days of repeated enquiries from the newspaper, marked the first public statement by the police since Mr. Maikori was arrested on Friday morning for the second
time in a month.
It came hours after Mr. Maikori’s lawyer told Premium Times that the Kaduna State government had concluded plans to arraign him before a court on Monday morning.
Premium Times had reported how the label executive was arrested by the police and subsequently taken to Kaduna, based on information provided by his lawyers.
“I am aware that the police in Abuja are taking Audu to Kaduna,” Mark Jacobs, Mr. Maikori’s lawyer, told Premium Times Friday afternoon.
Reports over the weekend, including tweets by the National Human Rights Commission, said police in Kaduna were holding Mr. Maikori at the State Criminal Investigation Department.
To be arraigned Monday— Lawyers
Similarly, John Danfulani, an associate of Mr. Maikori who is also standing in as one of his legal representatives, said he met the embattled label executive in a police facility along Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Kaduna.
“I was with Audu on Friday night. Left him at 8:30 p.m. in Ibrahim Taiwo Road cell,” Mr. Danfulani said.
Mr. Danfulani, a former lecturer at the Kaduna State University who is facing separate charges of incitement also brought against him by the Kaduna State government, said his friend will be arraigned on Monday.
“He will appear in court tomorrow,” Mr. Danfulani said.
Although the police vehemently denied playing any role in detaining Mr. Maikori, a highly-placed source within the organisation said other law enforcement agencies, especially the State Security Service, might be responsible.
“Other government agencies, like the SSS, might have arrested him and placed him in a police cell,” the source told Premium Times in Abuja on Sunday.
Premium Times could not independently confirm that SSS executed Mr. Maikori’s arrest. The agency’s refusal to appoint a spokesperson running close to two years made it impossible to get clarification.