Breaking News: Police Declare Bauchi Cleric, Abdulaziz, Wanted

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Bauchi State Police Command has issued a wanted notice for a local cleric, Idris Abdulaziz.

This announcement was made in a Special Police Gazette distributed to journalists in Bauchi on Thursday.

The gazette, issued by the command’s Criminal Investigation Department, features Abdulaziz’s photograph and personal details, offering a reward for information leading to his capture.

Abdulaziz is sought for defying a court order, as stated in the police bulletin.

In response to the police’s action, Abdulaziz’s attorney, Mr. Ahmad Musa, criticized the move, attributing it to the state government’s efforts to quell dissent using state mechanisms.

“This action is consistent with previous attempts to silence Malam Idris Abdulaziz, who has been vocal against the authorities. The state government’s misuse of resources to suppress opposition voices is destined to fail,” Musa remarked.

Our reporter learned from Musa that the Bauchi State Government is allegedly employing the judiciary to target his client for political reasons.

Musa highlighted that fresh charges were lodged against Abdulaziz by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Hassan El-Yakub, at the Chief Magistrates Court in Bauchi just a week after Abdulaziz sought refuge following a police raid at his home in Dutsen Tanshi, Bauchi, on January 24.

Abdulaziz fled the state to escape what he perceives as persecution and false accusations by the Bauchi government, which include blasphemy against religious beliefs. He has since relocated to a safer location.

The cleric has refuted the state’s allegations, which accuse him of promoting unrest and disrespecting religious doctrines.

A notice of the new case against Abdulaziz was posted at his Dutsen Tanshi residence, with the court session scheduled for February 6.

However, on Tuesday, Musa revealed that the new charges are a repetition of those already under consideration at the Upper Sharia Court 1 in Bauchi, which have since been escalated to the High Court and are currently pending before the Court of Appeal in Jos.

Musa argues that the ongoing legal challenges against Abdulaziz reveal the state government’s political motives in leveraging the judiciary against him.

Abdulaziz, a well-known Islamic preacher from Dutsen Tanshi, faced backlash last April for statements made during a lecture about relying solely on God, which stirred controversy among religious groups in the state. While Sunni supporters defended him, some from the Sufi sect demanded his legal prosecution for allegedly disrespecting religious figures.

Following the controversy, the state government took up the case, initiating legal proceedings against him.

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