Tik Tok: Two social media stars have been sentenced to flogging in Nigeria for mocking an official
- Isaac Khaled
- BBC News – Abuja
Two TikTok stars in Nigeria have been sentenced to flogging and forced to clean up a court after using social media to mock a government official.
Mubarak Issa Muhammad and Muhammad Bula were both convicted of defaming Abdullah Kandouji, the governor of northern Kano state.
The defendants’ lawyer said they would not appeal the verdict.
Nigeria has seen a growing number of social media stars using comedy to comment on social and political issues.
Mubarak Issa Mohamed and Mohamed Bala were arrested last week after they posted a video on Tik Tok and Facebook mocking the ruler over allegations of land grabbing and corruption and sleeping at work.
Prosecutor’s attorney Wada Ahmed Wada said the two men insulted the governor and that their actions disturbed the public peace.
The two men pleaded guilty and asked for a reduced sentence. But the judge ordered them to receive 20 lashes each, pay a fine of 10,000 naira (£20) and clean the courthouse for 30 days. He also ordered them to publicly apologize to Ganduji on social media.
Her lawyer, Bashir Youssef, told the BBC that they would not appeal the verdict because it was a non-custodial sentence, meaning those convicted would not be imprisoned.
Nigeria has seen a rapid increase in TikTok users in recent years, especially among young people.
These users sometimes mock public figures, including government officials, by cropping photos or videos, often to produce comedy that attracts large numbers of followers to their accounts.
Located in northern Nigeria, Kano State is predominantly Muslim and is among about a dozen states in the region that implement the Islamic Sharia system along with the country’s secular laws. Muslims can only be tried in courts that apply what they see as Islamic law.
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