By Damilare Famuyiwa
Ameerah Safiyanu, a Twitter user who falsely claimed to have been kidnapped, alongside 16 others by gunmen of Fulani and Yoruba ethnicities, in Abuja, has been mandated to spend the next 12 months of her life in a psychiatric care.
It would be recalled that Safiyanu was arrested on Friday, June 17, 2022, following days of intense searching.
Three days prior to her arrest, Safiyanu claimed that she, and 16 other residents of Abuja had been kidnapped by armed men in police uniforms.
According to her, amongst them were three pregnant women and two children.
After being abducted, Safiyanu alleged that the gunmen took them all to the forest.
“Please whoever has my WhatsApp number, I sent a broadcast message of my location. We were abducted at gunpoint by [people] with police uniforms and a van from our houses from different parts of Abuja. We’re 17 including 3 pregnant women and two little kids. They didn’t see my phone,” she had written.
Safiyanu’s falsified information stirred controversy on social media, with many people accusing security agents of being ineptitude to stem terrorists’ attacks.
Appearing before the court on the sole charge of misleading the police pursuant to section 140 of the penal code on Wednesday, June 29, Safiyanu pleaded guilty to the charge.
In the course of the court trial, police prosecutor James Idachaba presented a medical report indicating that Sufyan was not mentally stable when she gave out the false information.
Idachaba, therefore, pleaded with the court to give the defendant a non-custodial sentence under section 44 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
He also prayed that she should be placed under the supervision of the police counselling unit, for a regular review of her mental state.
In his ruling, Chukwuemeka Nweke, the presiding magistrate, ordered that Safiyanu should be released conditionally to a probation officer, as she undergoes psychiatric care for the next 12 months.