Rhoda Jatau: Woman Sent to Prison for Condemning Samuel Deborah's Killing Released after 18 Months

Rhoda Jatau: Woman Sent to Prison for Condemning Samuel Deborah's Killing Released after 18 Months

  • Rhoda Jatau, detained in Bauchi prison for condemning the killing of Samuel Deborah over blasphemy in Sokoto, has been released
  • Samuel Deborah, a student, was murdered for advising against sharing religious materials on a WhatsApp group
  • The Inter-Religious Council reportedly played a crucial role in securing Jatau's release, though details of the bail conditions and the granting court were not disclosed

Legit.ng journalist Nurudeen Lawal has years of experience covering the intersections of Nigerian politics, government policies and religion

Bauchi - Rhoda Jatau, the woman detained in Bauchi prison for allegedly condemning the killing of Samuel Deborah over blasphemy in Sokoto state, has been released after 18 months.

Jatau was reportedly released on Friday, December 8, after the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council and the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria intervened.

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Rhoda Jatau/Samuel Deborah/Blasphemy
Rhoda Jatau has regained freedom after 18 months in prison. Photo credits: @LawrenceOkoroPG, @nasranimasihi
Source: Twitter

Legit.ng recalls that the mother of five had been in detention since May 2022 over blasphemy.

Jatau was on May 20, 2022, arrested by the authorities in Bauchi state after riots broke out in response to a perceived blasphemous message she sent on WhatsApp.

Her message came reportedly in response to the murder of Deborah, who was killed in an instance of mob violence over a perceived blasphemous message.

Jatau was reportedly accused of "inciting public disturbance; exciting contempt of religious creed; and cyberstalking" under Sections 114, 210 of the Penal Code Law and Section 24 Subsection 1b(i) of the Cybercrime Prohibition Prevention Act 2015 Laws."

Deborah, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was murdered after advising her colleagues against sending religious materials on a WhatsApp group.

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How Rhoda Jatau was released

Citing an anonymous source, The Punch reported that the Inter-Religious Council played “a key role” in securing Jatau's bail and release.

The source, however, did not give details of the bail conditions or the court that granted Jatau bail.

“We are pleased to report that Mrs Rhoda has been granted bail and subsequently released from detention today. We have high hopes that the case will end in praise. Let’s continue to uphold her in our prayers," the source was quoted as saying.

Reactions trail Jatau's release

Sir'Daniel B. Bassey commented on Facebook:

"It took social media dragging for the supposed institutions to do the right thing. May God help us."

Immanuel James Ibe-Anyanwu said:

"I hope they keep her safe outside."

Jaajay Jay said:

"It is unfortunate. This can only (happen) in Naija."

Nigerians slam continued detention of Rhoda Jatau

Earlier, Legit.ng reported that Nigerians condemned the continued detention of Jatau.

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Popular skit maker Mr Macaroni joined other Nigerians to condemn Jatau’s 18 months of detention and wrote:

“Rhoda Jatau is a Christian. A Mother of 5. She has spent over 18 months and counting in a Prison in Bauchi for condemning the gruesome and barbaric murder of Deborah; a fellow Christian. This is a crime against humanity and this madness must come to an end! FREE RHODA JATAU!!!”

Source: Legit.ng

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