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2 TikTok stars sentenced to receive 20 lashes each, pay fine, sweep court for 1 month

Two young TikTok stars whose recent videos landed them in trouble have been sentenced to receive 20 lashes each, and pay a fine after which they will sweep the court’s premises for one whole month.

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According to the BBC, a magistrate’s court in the northern Nigerian city of Kano sentenced Mubarak Isa Muhammed and Muhammed Bula on their own guilty plea.

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The two were arrested last week and arraigned for defaming Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of the northern state of Kano.

They had posted on their TikTok and Facebook pages, videos in which they mocked the governor for alleged land grabbing, corruption and sleeping on the job.

When they appeared before the court, the accused persons pleaded guilty and asked the court to have mercy on them.

However, in his ruling on Monday, November 7, 2022, Magistrate Aminu Gabari of the state Magistrates’ Court in Kano came to the determination that they should be given 20 lashes each, pay a fine of 10,000 naira (£20) and then clean the court premises for 30 days.

Aside from the above-stated punishments, the convicts have also been ordered to render a public apology to Ganduje on social media.

Asked what he made of the court’s ruling and if there was any way forward for his clients, lawyer for the convicts, Bashir Yusuf told the BBC there he didn’t see the need for an appeal against the judgement since it is just a “non-custodial”.

Kano State, a Muslim-majority part of northern Nigeria, is among about a dozen states in the region that practise the Sharia legal system alongside the country’s secular laws. Only Muslims can be tried in Sharia courts.

This court ruling will definitely put check social media users in Nigeria to think twice about the content they upload to the various platforms.

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