For sharing a message among her co-workers that criticised a mob action last May, Rhoda Ya’u Jatau has spent the last year in police detention on charges of blasphemy towards Islam. The healthcare administrator with the Warji local government in Bauchi, northeastern Nigeria was arrested a few days after forwarding the video condemning the burning to death of Deborah Yakubu, a university student in Sokoto, another state, over alleged blasphemy. Prosecutors allege that by sharing the video, Jatau, then 45, committed multiple offences of inciting disturbance, contempt” for religious creed, and cyberstalking. Last Monday, a Bauchi state high court rejected her “no-case submission”. Kola Alapinni, lead counsel at Abuja-based nonprofit Foundation for Religious Freedom who is familiar with the case, told Al Jazeera that the defence team is expected to make a case when the court sits again in December. If found guilty, Jatau, a mother of five and Christian, could be sentenced to a few years in prison, he said.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA