Dr. John Danfulani, a vocal, anti-government, Political Science Lecturer at the Kaduna State University, Kaduna, North-West Nigeria has been arrested on charges of hate speech over a Facebook post. He was arrested after turned himself in following an invitation by the Kaduna State Police.
Danfulani was accused by the Kaduna State government of posting inciting and hateful statements in social media against the people of northern Nigeria capable of causing breakdown of law and order in northern Nigeria and other parts of the country. The Police said the alleged offence is contrary to section 417 and 418 of the penal code of northern Nigeria.
He had on January 8 been suspended by the authorities of the university after being queried via a letter dated January 5, 2016 that accused him of “gross misconduct” for the social media post.
He was on January 29, 2016 charged to the Chief Magistrate Court in Kaduna presided over by Auwal Musa who denied him bail but ordered him to be remanded in police custody till February 1, 2016.
On February 1, the prosecuting officer, Ibrahim Jameel, requested that Danfulani be remanded in custody for three weeks. According to him: “By so doing, we will be assured that our investigation will not be jeopardized because the subject of investigation is with us and closely monitored.”
His counsel however opposed the prosecuting officer arguing that he failed to comply with the court order to conclude his investigation by February 1 but instead gave excuses without apology for his failure.
Danfulani was however granted bail with stringent conditions by the Magistrate who agreed that the offence is bail-able.
The Magistrate admitted him on bail to the sum of five million naira (about US $25,000.00) with two sureties who must be a civil servant not below the rank of a director who must submit two passport photographs, government identification card, certificate of occupancy, bank statement of account, and genuine and verifiable address of residence. The Magistrate also ordered Danfulani to also submit all his official traveling documents to the police
The matter was adjourned to March 7, 2016 for further mention and when it came up, the Police stated that while they had concluded their investigation, they needed more time before they could go ahead with the case. April 6 was subsequently been fixed for the next hearing.