Publisher of Desert Herald Malam Tukur Mamu, who yesterday spent the second day on hospital bed, has declared that he was kept in the same place with hardened criminals, a situation that led to his being traumatised.
Speaking from his hospital bed in Wuse General Hospital, Abuja, where he was rushed after he collapsed in the court on Thursday, Mamu told LEADERSHIP Weekend that he needed adequate and comprehensive healthcare services in a well-equipped hospital.
Mamu, who was being closely monitored by two plain-clothes security men in the hospital in Zone 3, Abuja, said the authorities had continued to make him uncomfortable.
He however said he had become better now and would be in court on Monday. He accused the police of treating his health condition with levity when he had suggested to them that he would bankroll his treatment in a better hospital.
Since the news of his arraignment and collapse in court broke on Thursday, most of his family members and well-wishers, who had continued to besiege the hospital, had been turned back. Only a few family members were allowed to see him.
Mamu is standing trial before an Abuja magistrate court in Wuse Zone 2 headed by Chukwuemeka Ubani for allegedly defaming the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed, in a Desert Herald publication. He was yet to take his plea before he slumped and fainted after which the court stood-down the case and ordered that he should be taken to hospital for treatment. He subsequently ruled, after consultations with all parties, that the trial would resume on Monday, subject to a certified medical report of Mamu’s fitness to stand trial.
Mamu has a medical history that requires daily medication. The publisher, it was further learnt, has regularly visited Saudi Arabia for medical examination and treatment in the last five years. His present condition was as a result of being denied access to medication and food since his arrest and detention on Tuesday.
Mamu told our correspondent yesterday that he was traumatised because he was incarcerated among hardened criminals and suspected terrorists, which aggravated his medical condition such that he could not stand in the dock in court on Thursday.
Pointing at his neck, he said: “I have a thyroid disease which I have been treating in Saudi Arabia for the past five years. In a year, I do see my doctors at least thrice for check-up and they have billed me for a surgical operation.
“The latest result of my series of tests is that I am due for surgery in two weeks’ time in Saudi Arabia and I had been preparing for my journey before my arrest. I am feeling better now and I can stand the trial. Since my case is a bailable one, I will want to perfect my bail at least on humanitarian ground for me to travel for the surgery,” Mamu said.
He re-echoed his counsel’s fears that the prosecution is only out to detain, harass and intimidate him at will by not concluding their investigation before taking him to court.
Mamu declared that his present travails would not deter him, adding that he had been emboldened to do what he wanted to do and “the process has started”.