Court Sentences Party Youth Leader for Insulting President Buhari on Facebook

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kamu Hamidu Kato

Mr. Ikamu Hamidu Kato, the 41-year old Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) youth leader in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State, was on August 2, 2021, convicted by the Adamawa State Chief‌ ‌Magistrate‌, ‌Mr. Dimas‌ Gwama, on a two-count charge for use of abusive words on President Muhammadu Buhari and inciting public disturbance. He was sentenced to ‌one year in prison on‌ ‌each count with‌ ‌an‌ ‌option‌ ‌of‌ a ‌fine‌ ‌of‌ ‌N25,000‌ ‌on‌ ‌each.‌ ‌The‌ prison terms ‌are‌ ‌to‌ ‌run‌ ‌concurrently.

Outraged‌ ‌by‌ ‌Boko‌ ‌Haram‌ ‌attack‌ ‌on‌ ‌Dabna‌ ‌community,‌ ‌during‌ ‌which‌ ‌over‌ 20‌ ‌persons‌ ‌lost‌ ‌their‌ ‌lives,‌ Ikamu‌ ‌took‌ ‌to‌ ‌Facebook‌ ‌and‌ ‌posted‌ ‌a‌ ‌video‌ ‌on‌ ‌July‌ ‌10,‌ ‌2021‌ ‌where ‌he‌ ‌called‌ ‌out‌ ‌the‌ ‌ Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),‌ Mr. ‌Boss‌ ‌Mustapha‌ ‌and‌ ‌President‌ ‌Muhammadu Buhari‌ ‌over‌ ‌their‌ ‌failure‌ ‌to‌ ‌secure‌ ‌the‌ ‌lives‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌resident‌s.‌ ‌He‌ ‌allegedly‌ ‌labelled‌ ‌the‌ ‌SGF‌ ‌“a‌ ‌disappointment‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌failure”‌ ‌and‌ ‌described‌ ‌the‌ ‌two‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌as‌ ‌“useless‌ ‌human‌ ‌beings”‌ ‌in‌ ‌power.‌ ‌

Ikamu’s Facebook ‌video‌ ‌went‌ ‌viral and‌ ‌he‌ ‌was‌ ‌suspended‌ ‌as‌ ‌the‌ ‌youth‌ ‌leader‌ ‌by‌ ‌the‌ ‌Hong‌ ‌ chapter‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌PDP‌ ‌for‌ ‌using‌ ‌vulgar‌ ‌language‌ ‌and‌ ‌vituperations‌ ‌against‌ ‌the‌ ‌SGF‌ ‌who‌ ‌they‌ ‌considered‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌renowned‌ ‌figure‌ ‌from‌ Hong Local Government Area.

After‌ ‌his‌ ‌suspension, Ikamu allegedly ‌became‌ ‌remorseful‌ ‌and‌ ‌made‌ ‌another‌ ‌video‌ ‌to‌ ‌apologize for his action.‌ However, loyalists‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌SGF‌ ‌instituted‌ a‌ ‌case in court,‌ ‌under‌ ‌the‌ ‌aegis‌ ‌of‌ ‌Adamawa‌ ‌Concerned‌ ‌Citizens,‌ ‌headed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Husseini‌ ‌Gambo.

Thereafter, the ‌Department‌ ‌of‌ ‌State‌ ‌Security‌ (DSS) ‌allegedly‌ ‌investigated‌ ‌the‌ ‌incident‌, arrested ‌and‌ ‌arraigned‌ ‌him‌ ‌before‌ Justice Dimas Gwama of the Magistrates’ Court IV in Yola ‌through‌ ‌the‌ ‌office‌ ‌of‌ ‌Attorney‌ ‌General‌ ‌of‌ ‌Adamawa ‌State‌ ‌on‌ July 30,‌ ‌2021.‌ 

On‌ ‌arraignment,‌ ‌he‌ ‌allegedly‌ ‌pleaded‌ ‌guilty‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ two‌ ‌counts‌ ‌charge‌ ‌of‌ ‌using‌ ‌insulting‌ and‌ ‌abusive‌ ‌words,‌ ‌and‌ ‌inciting‌ ‌ ‌public‌ ‌disturbance.‌ ‌The‌ ‌court‌ ‌ordered‌ ‌that‌ ‌he‌ ‌should‌ ‌be‌ ‌remanded‌ ‌in‌ ‌prison‌ ‌and‌ ‌adjourned‌ ‌the‌ ‌matter‌ ‌to‌ ‌August‌ ‌2,‌ ‌2021. On‌ ‌ ‌August‌ ‌2,‌ ‌‌the‌ ‌prosecution‌ ‌called‌ ‌two‌ ‌witnesses a ‌DSS‌ ‌operative‌, ‌Zayyanu‌ ‌Adamu‌ ‌and‌ ‌Husseini‌ ‌Nakura,‌ ‌chairman‌ ‌of‌ ‌Adamawa‌ ‌State‌ ‌Concerned‌ ‌Citizens‌ -‌ ‌to‌ ‌testify.‌ ‌The prosecution ‌also‌ ‌tendered‌ Ikamu’s ‌confessional‌ ‌statement‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌USB‌ ‌drive‌ ‌as‌ ‌exhibits.‌

In sentencing the youth leader, Magistrate Gwama said he ‌considered‌‌ ‌Ikamu’s plea asking the court ‌to‌ ‌temper‌ ‌justice‌ ‌with‌ ‌mercy,‌ ‌his‌ ‌conduct‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌trial,‌ ‌and his‌ ‌apology but added that he ‌would‌ ‌not‌ ‌be‌ ‌left‌ ‌to‌ ‌go‌ ‌scot‌ ‌free,‌ ‌but‌ ‌be‌ ‌punished‌ ‌to‌ ‌serve‌ ‌as‌ ‌a deterrent‌ ‌to‌ ‌others.‌ ‌ ‌ Ikamu was not represented by any legal counsel during his trial