Soni Daniel – Abuja
After nearly three months of fishing for the brain behind the phantom marriage between President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Humanitarian Services, Sadiya Farouq, the Department of State Services (DSS), on Friday paraded the mastermind of the criminal act before journalists in Abuja.
The DSS said a 32-year-old man, Kabiru Mohammed, a member of the Kwankwasiya Movement, was behind the creation and sharing of fake videos depicting President Buhari’s wedding to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed and Farouq.
The Spokesman of the DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, who paraded the suspect, said the agency sprang into action to fish out the mastermind following formal complaints lodged by the two ministers on separate occasions after the fake videos had gone viral between August and October 2019.
He said: “Last year, 2019 between August and October there was a defamatory video that circulated widely across Nigeria and showing false engagement of Mr. President in marriage with some members of his cabinet.
“One was the Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, and another was that of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq.
“On the 11th of October, 2019 the Minister of Finance, brought a formal complaint to the Service in which she stated that the video had cost her big embarrassment and asked that an investigation be opened into that audio/video and the materials associated with it, the infographics and all the materials that were in circulation at the moment. She asked that a detailed investigation be opened in that regard with a view to identifying the persons or groups of persons that may have been behind the circulation of such defamatory materials.
“The Service went into investigation and we can announce that it had apprehended the person that is involved and the person who started this and who circulated the materials. His name is Kabiru Mohammed. He hails from Kano. He is 32 years. He holds a diploma in Hausa and Fulfulde from the Federal College of Education, Kano and also holds a diploma in Mass Communication from Aminu Kano Islamic School, according to him.
“He has confessed and investigation has also revealed his involvement in the creation of these materials and the circulation of the materials. The investigation is continuing to determine the actual reasons behind his intent. What we can assure you as Nigerians is that we would continue to deepen this investigation and bring it to a logical conclusion.
“We will do everything needful within the ambit of the law to bring this to a logical conclusion, as to determine whether there is or not other persons, interests, and motives behind this other than what he has said.
“We want to use this opportunity to once again please ask Nigerians as always that the spread of false news through social media does not do well for any person. You may enjoy the spread of such falsehood when you are not the victim. But if you become the victim, you will know the pain. And we want to urge every citizen and residents and of course, Nigerians, that anywhere they are, they should desist from spreading falsehoods, misrepresentations, rumours against one another, against then government, and against institutions of government.
“By the time you click that button and you spread or participate in sharing news that is not true, you are helping in causing disharmony, you are helping in bringing problem in the country. And you are also feeding on differences in the country to bring about chaos, anarchy, and instability.
“As we go into the New Year, we urge everyone to make a new attitude and begin to find reasons to be more patriotic, to be more law-abiding, and be better citizens and to help move Nigeria forward. On our part, we would continue to perform our duties and responsibilities without let or fear and will always collaborate with all stakeholders particularly the media and strategic partners to make sure there is lasting peace in the country.”
“The suspect, Mohammed, who admitted to creating and sharing the videos begged for forgiveness, saying it was a mistake.
“He said he was a member of a political group in Kano known as Kwakwasiya.”