Rhoda Jatau, a Bauchi State resident who spent a daunting 18 months behind bars for vocally condemning the heinous killing of Samuel Deborah in Sokoto State, has finally regained her freedom.
Late last Friday, Jatau’s release was orchestrated through collaborative efforts by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), and the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria (CSWN), according to credible sources.
The 200-level student, Samuel Deborah, tragically lost her life in a brutal incident at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, with Jatau subsequently detained on blasphemy charges for sharing a video condemning the savage lynching. The charges were framed around content deemed likely to disrupt public peace.
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The incident, occurring on the 14th of May 2022, saw religious extremists setting Deborah ablaze, leading to widespread condemnation. Despite assurances from the Sokoto police command regarding the arrest and prosecution of the suspected killers, justice remains elusive to this day.
Jatau, a mother of five, faced unspecified bail conditions, with the Inter-Religious Council playing a pivotal role in securing her release, underscoring the importance of interfaith cooperation in safeguarding individual liberties.
Nonetheless, the Human Rights community must remain vigilant against such encroachments on freedom of speech. Advocacy for action against false imprisonment and malicious prosecution should be pursued against the Sokoto State Government.
The occurrence of such a grievous incident in 21st-century Nigeria is disheartening. The act of killing under religious pretexts and the subsequent arrest of those condemning such atrocities highlight a disturbing trend. VOTP NEWS staunchly asserts that religious extremism has no place in Nigeria, advocating for justice irrespective of claimed provocations.
In this endeavor, VOTP NEWS stands ready to champion human rights causes in Nigeria, steadfast in its commitment to addressing violations in any form or manner they may manifest.