Nigeria mocks a governor on video: two tiktokers sentenced to 20 lashes

Public whipping, courtroom toilet cleaning, heavy fines, apology videos. This is what the sentence of a Nigerian court handed down against two young tiktokers, guilty of mocking a state governor in a video posted on social media.

Author: Lorenzo Bonuomo

It had to be a banal, mocking and goliardic video: it ended with a sentence of 20 lashes in public, the obligation to clean the courtrooms for 30 days and a fine of 10,000 naira (about 21.94 euros). As if that wasn’t enough, the two will also have to commit to releasing an apology video on their accounts.

This is the list of punishments inflicted on “uniquepikin”, a duo of Nigerian comedians active on TikTok, Mubarak Isah Muhammad AND Nazifi Muhammad Bala, 26, 23 years old, authors of a video in which they mock a local politician. Now they run the risk of paying dearly for the act of irreverence.

Their fault? The two targeted some of the attitudes of the governor of Kano state: Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. In particular, he was accused of corruption, illegal land grabbing and sleeping on the job.

As announced by a collaborator of the duo, the video had been filmed four years earlier, but was only recently noticed by authorities. The two were prosecuted on two counts: “image damage” against the governor and “inciting public disorder”, under current Islamic Sharia law.

“They admitted the charges. They didn’t even ask for a defense attorney,” Baba Jibo Ibrahim, a spokesperson for the Kano State Court, told CNN. The two young men were indicted last week. After a weekend spent under house arrest, they were sentenced to public flogging on Monday, November 7.

The court case that invested the two tiktokers drew harsh criticism from human rights activists: “Satire against the authorities is not a crime,” commented Osai Ojigho, director of the local branch of the Amnesty International, which requested the immediate annulment of the sentence.

His words were echoed by those of Inibehe EffiongNigerian human rights lawyer: “I don’t understand why people should be flogged. This form of punishment is inhuman and incompatible with the right to human dignity.”

Source: Fan Page IT