Rhoda Jatau Languishes In Prison After Sharing Video Of Deborah Samuel Killing

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vin modebelu

Dec 6, 2023, 10:48:34 AM12/6/23
to Naija Observer
This is completely unacceptable.

What kind of country do we live in, this innocent woman is suffering in prison while the barbarians and monsters that killed Ms Deborah have not been brought to book.

I am very angry right now

I don't know why the Bauchi state government and the federal government of Nigeria are just keeping mute on this ugly issue.

Rhoda Jatau Languishes In Prison After Sharing Video Of Deborah Samuel Killing

Nigerian Woman, Rhoda Jatau Languishes In Bauchi Prison After 18 Months For Sharing Video Condemning Deborah Samuel’s Killing.

The Bauchi State High Court has thrown out the no-case submission of a health care worker, Rhoda Jatau after her already harrowing 18 months incarceration.

Recall that Jatau was arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) in May 2022 after she shared a video that condemned the lynching of the Christian female student of Sokoto College, Deborah Samuel, accused of blasphemy by Islamic fanatics in Sokoto. Jatau is facing charges of inciting public disturbance, “exciting contempt of religious creed,” and cyberstalking.

The prosecution had since closed its case but the defence’s attempt to present its no-case argument was repeatedly stalled as the presiding judge defers court dates and the trial experiences a prolonged timeline.

The submission was eventually made on October 16 at a hearing witnessed by Jatau’s husband, Ya’u Adamu, and other observers. People’s Gazette reports that the court’s ruling on Monday against the no case submission meant that the court affirms the legal standing of the authorities to argue the charges brought against her even though it is substantiated with scant evidence.

The court had earlier admitted the interpretation of Jatau sharing of a social media video as offensive to extant laws and her lawyers would now work to prove that her action was justified rather than the initial stance that her action did not constitute the offences alleged.

Her arrest and prolonged detention have raised international concerns with the United Nations and organisations such as Christian Solidarity International expressing worry. They contend that Jatau’s incarceration represents an infringement on her fundamental rights to freedom of expression, religion or belief. Of concern is the repeated denial of bail to Jatau.

The United Nations and CSI underscore that the denial of bail not only restricts her freedom but also raises questions about the fairness and proportionality of the legal measures taken against her.

Drop charges against Rhoda Jatau, 500 women groups tell FG
The Federal Government has been urged to drop all charges against Rhoda Jatau, facilitate her immediate release, and reassess laws that are misused to stifle freedom of expression and manipulate the persecution of innocent individuals. These were the demands of over 500 women rights’ groups united under the aegis of Womanifesto, at a meeting with newsmen in Lagos, yesterday.


Describing Jatau’s prolonged detention as an infringement on her fundamental rights, the coalition also urged the Federal Government to provide adequate resources to enable the conduction of a thorough and impartial investigation into the murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, and hold the Commissioner of Police and the Ministry of Justice in Sokoto State accountable for pursuing justice on behalf of the state and the family of Yakubu.

Recall that Jatau, a 45-year-old Christian mother of five, was, on 20th of May 2022, arrested and incarcerated for forwarding a WhatsApp message condemning the murder of Deborah Yakubu; a second-year Christian college student killed by a mob of Muslim students in Sokoto, after being accused of blasphemy against Islam.

According to Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi,Co-Convener, Womenifesto, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, while Mrs Jatau faces baseless charges of inciting public disturbance and insulting religious creed, the mob that lynched Yakubu, recorded the crime and circulated the video on various social media platforms, are allowed to roam the streets of Nigeria free.

“It shows the unequal application of the law in Northern Nigeria and further contributes to tensions and distrust between Muslims and Christians living in Nigeria,” she fumed.  She went on: “Rhoda’s trial has also been marred with several irregularities, including baseless adjournments and postponements— at least five scheduled court hearings have failed to occur since March 2023.

“On the 27th of November, 2023, the High Court in Bauchi State rejected an application for a “no-case submission” by Rhoda’s Lawyers. Mrs Jatau has been denied bail despite having no criminal history and not being identified as a flight risk. Her husband and five children have had to go into hiding due to threats on their lives.

“All these point to a systemic failure of the Nigerian government to protect Yakubu or pursue justice for her murder and protect the voices of Christian minorities in Northern Nigeria in times of crisis. “Condemning public lynching or calling on the government to prosecute offenders should never be a crime, and the Nigerian state should immediately seek to rectify this miscarriage of justice. 

“The state is currently detaining Mrs Jatau despite the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The flagrant disregard of the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and expression enshrined both in the constitution and in various international and regional treaties for which Nigeria is a signatory, as well as the abuse of human rights, judicial processes, and failure of state protection, must be addressed to correct this wrong immediately. 

“The continued detention of Mrs Jatau not only infringes upon her fundamental rights but also sends a chilling message to others – especially Christians – who express dissent or speak out against injustice, especially those related to mob actions suffered at the hands of Muslim men. This sets a dangerous precedent and erodes the foundations of a just and democratic society.”

The women also emphasised the need for the Federal Government to strengthen efforts to combat gender-based violence, ensuring that perpetrators are swiftly brought to justice and victims receive the support they need. They, also, reiterated the need to foster community educational outreach initiatives to raise religious and cultural tolerance awareness.



Dec 7, 2023, 6:23:26 AM12/7/23
to vin modebelu, Google Inc., Naija Observer, DIPO ENIOLA, Wharf Snake, Ola Kassim, Tajudeen Raji, Ishola Williams, Chuhwuemeka Okala, Nebukadineze Adiele, Adeniran Adeboye, Philip Achusim, Femi Olajide, Abraham Madu, IKECHI NNAJI
Afis’ Preamble:

I wonder why our Youth organizations and NGOs are on Mute-button on this Jatau issue:

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