Sharia court fines, sentences pair of TikTokers to whipping after mocking state governor in north west Nigeria ‘for corruption, land grabbing and sleeping on the job’
Nigerian TikTokers sentenced to whipping for mocking official
Two TikTok influencers in Nigeria have been sentenced to whipping and forced to clean the court after they used social media to mock a state governor
Mubarak Isa Muhammed and Muhammed Bula were accused of insulting Abdullahi Gandudje governor of Kano state in social media posts
Muhammad and Bula were arrested last week after posting their video
The postings on TikTok and Facebook mocked the governor for alleged land grabbing, corruption and sleeping on the job
The Kano state is one of 12 of the 36 states in the country where the Sharia, [Quran based], legal system is practised, alongside the country’s secular laws
*The men were sentenced to be given 20 lashes each, fined 10,000 Naira [$23], ordered to clean the court, for two weeks and post public apologies to the governor on social media
A Sharia court has sentenced two TikTok influencerssin Nigeria to be fines, whipping and cleaning of the court premises after they went on social media to mock a state governor in the muslim dominated nothern part of the country.
The men – Mubarak Isa Muhammed and Muhammed Bula – were found guilty of defaming Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano. With a population of over 15 million people, Kano in Nigeria’s northwest is the country’s second largest state, behind Lagos state.
The TikTok stars are sentenced to be whipped 20 times under Sharia law after mocking Gov. Gandudje, a powerful stalwart of the All Progressive Congress, APC, President Muhammadu Buhari’s party which also controls 22 of the 36 states as well as the nations Senate and Congress. The video which was posted on TikTok last week showed the duo depicting Gov. Ganduje as a corrupt politician who sold every available public plot of land in the state.
The defendant’s are being represented by the same deefense attorney, Bashir Yusuf, who has said that his clients would not be challenging the judgement.
Nigeria which is in the throes of tightening presidential and gubernatorial election campaigns – which has raised the long standing issues of enthnicity and and at times rancerous religious dichotomy between the two dominant religions of Islam and Christianity – has seen a wave of wokeness, with increased youth fervor and participation, with a growing number of social media stars who use comedy to comment on Muhammad and Bala were arrested last week after posting their video – in which they mocked the governor for alleged land grabbing, corruption and sleeping on the job – to TikTok and Facebook.
Prosecution lawyer Wada Ahmed Wada said the men had defamed the governor and that their action was capable of disturbing public peace.
After entering their guilty plea, the defendants asked the court for leniency, but the judge ordered them to be given 20 lashes each, to pay a fine of 10,000 naira, [$22.74]. In addtion the men were ordered to clean the court premises for 30 days.
They were also ordered to post public apologies to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on social media.
Their defense attorney, Bashir Yusuf, told the BBC they would not challenge the judgement, given it was a ”non-custodial” sentence – meaning those convicted would not be jailed.
Nigeria has seen a rapid increase in TikTok users in recent years, particularly among young people.
These users sometimes mock public figures, including government officials, by clipping images or videos, often to create comedies that attract massive followers to their accounts.
APC controlled Kano State is one of a dozen states out of the 36 states in the country that instituted the Sharia legal system alongside the country’s secular laws, since 1999. With all of them in the Muslim-dominated nothern regions of Nigeria.
Sharia is body of law based on the ‘precepts of Islam and is based on the sacred scriptures of Islam, particularly the Quran’. In Nigeria only Muslims can be tried in Sharia courts.
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