Nigeria: TikTokers caned and ordered to wash toilets as court rules they defamed Nigerian governor

Abuja, Nigeria

Two TikTok comedians have been publicly whipped in Nigeria for making a video {that a} court docket within the northern Kano State dominated had defamed the state Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, in accordance with a judicial spokesperson.

Mubarak Isah Muhammad, 26, and Nazifi Muhammad Bala, 23, every acquired 20 lashes for making defamatory statements in regards to the governor, a spokesperson for Kano State Judiciary, Baba Jibo Ibrahim, instructed CNN on Wednesday.

The 2 pals, in accordance with Ibrahim, have been sentenced on Monday after being introduced earlier than a Justice of the Peace’s court docket on Friday. They have been remanded in custody over the weekend, the judiciary spokesman mentioned.

“They admitted the fees. They didn’t even ask or beg for a lawyer to face for them,” Ibrahim instructed CNN.

“They have been arraigned earlier than the Kano State Justice of the Peace Court docket for defaming the character of Governor Umar Ganduje on their TikTok social media account. When the fees have been learn to them, they pleaded responsible to the 2 counts of … defamation of character and inciting public disturbance,” Ibrahim mentioned.

CNN has made makes an attempt to succeed in the 2 males and their lawyer for remark.

Saifullahi Ibrahim, an in depth affiliate who visited the lads in jail, instructed CNN the TikTok video was made 4 years in the past and solely resurfaced on-line just lately. Ibrahim mentioned he had identified each males for over a decade.

Along with the general public lashing ordered by the court docket, the lads have been ordered to pay a high-quality of 10,000 naira (round $23) every and cleansing “together with sweeping the court docket premises and washing the court docket’s bogs for 30 days,” Ibrahim said.

They have been additionally ordered to make a video on social media to publicly apologize to Governor Ganduje.

Osai Ojigho, the director of Amnesty Worldwide Nigeria, condemned the ruling, saying “satirizing these in authority will not be against the law.”

The human rights company known as on Nigerian authorities to “instantly quash this appalling sentence.”

Human rights lawyer Inibehe Effiong needs the ruling of the Justice of the Peace’s court docket challenged at a better court docket.

“I don’t perceive why folks must be flogged. Such type of punishment is inhumane and is inconsistent with the proper to dignity of the human individual,” Effiong instructed CNN.

“It’s also uncertain whether or not they got a good trial. I imagine that the 2 males ought to take steps to problem the choice on the greater court docket.”

Effiong added that it was the proper of residents to criticize their leaders.

“Residents have the proper beneath the structure to freedom of expression, and that proper must be revered, significantly because it pertains to public workplace holders. The rights of residents to criticize them is preserved beneath the structure,” he mentioned.

Governor Ganduje had beforehand come beneath public criticism after a video that surfaced on native media in 2018 appeared to have captured him pocketing large quantities of US {dollars} in a flowing gown that have been believed to be proceeds from a bribe.

The governor has denied all allegations.

Kano, situated in northern Nigeria, operates beneath its personal strict interpretation of Sharia regulation. Convictions for blasphemy are widespread within the largely Muslim-dominated state, the place a model of the Sharia regulation is enforced by spiritual police often known as the Hisbah Corps.

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