Rhoda Jatau, a Bauchi resident who faced imprisonment after speaking out against the killing of a Christian student, Samuel Deborah, in Sokoto State, has been granted freedom. The release comes following concerted efforts from civil society organizations, family members, and religious bodies advocating for her case.
Rhoda Jatau’s bail application, presented by her lawyer Joseph Danboyi, was heard and approved by Justice Fatima Jibrin of a high court in Bauchi. Subsequent to her release, Rhoda promptly left Bauchi for Gombe State.
Prior to her release, the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in Bauchi issued a statement explaining the circumstances surrounding Jatau’s arrest. According to the statement, she was apprehended on May 20, 2022, at her residence by the Nigerian Police Force on charges of alleged incitement and inciting public disturbance. The CITAD also revealed that Jatau had faced repeated denials of bail before the recent intervention.
The Executive Director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, Bauchi, expressed relief at Jatau’s release, acknowledging the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders in securing her freedom. The case had drawn attention due to concerns about freedom of expression and the right to dissent.
Jatau’s ordeal serves as a reminder of the complexities surrounding the exercise of free speech and dissent in certain contexts. As she returns to normalcy, the incident prompts reflection on the importance of safeguarding individuals’ rights to express their opinions without fear of persecution.