A video has emerged on social media showing the moment when Shehu Mahdi, a whistleblower of Nigerian state corruption, was violently dragged to court by the police despite being in visibly poor health.
Mahdi, a Nigerian business tycoon, has recently brought to light alleged corruption by the Katsina state government in northern Nigeria and the inflation of money paid as ransom to kidnappers in the state.
According to The Nation, the whistleblower has been detained many times and dragged to at least five different courts over the same charges.
On 16 February, he was reportedly arrested following asking officials to investigate what he believed was abuse of public funds in Katsina State.
He has been charged with “defamation, forgery and inciting the public against the Katsina state government.”
In the video, Mahdi is seen lying on the floor of the courthouse, while two police officers hold down his arms. Alarmingly, he’s wearing a brace around his neck and his waist, although it is not known how the injuries were received.
Struggling, he shouts ironically, “This is democracy!”
Reacting to the situation in a statement on social media, Amnesty International condemned the detention and ill-treatment of the whistleblower.
“Amnesty International condemns the unlawful detention and ill-treatment of whistleblower Shehu Mahdi , who has been exposing alleged corruption by the Katsina state government.
“Since his detention on 16 February, Shehu Mahdi has been denied access to family, lawyer and medication despite the poor state of his health. We are calling on authorities to immediately release him and respect his rights. #Corruption #Katsina #Nigeria.”
Video source: @SaharaReporters