Musician Arrested, Detained and Docked for Releasing Track Without Authorisation


Sadiq Usman Saleh, alias Sadiq Zazzabi, was arrested, detained and docked for releasing a Hausa musical and video track titled “Maza bayan ka” (All Men Behind You) which the Kano State Censors Board alleged was unapproved and contained immorality.

The Censors Board invited him to appear before Kano Magistrate Court 3 on March 1, 2017 where he was ordered to be remanded in prison till March 3. He was arraigned on a two count-charge of releasing unapproved song “containing immorality by featuring seductive dance(s) by women”.

The offences were alleged to contravene Sections 100 (1) and 97 (2) of the Kano State Censorship Board Regulation 2001 and punishable under Section 112 of the same law.

On March 3, the Presiding Magistrate Aliyu Gabari granted Zazzabi bail on the sum of N100,000 and two sureties one of which must be a member of the music writers association of Kano State, and the other a civil servant of not lower than grade level 14.

The court adjourned the matter till March 27, 2017 for continuation of hearing.

Zazzabi claims he is being persecuted for supporting a politician in the State but Ismaila Afakallahu, the Chairman of the Censors Board debunked it adding that Zazzabi submitted the said track for vetting but released it before being granted the approval certificate.

Afakallahu said: “… he actually brought the song for censorship and before we can grant him a certificate of approval, he went ahead to launch the song. For doing that he has faulted the censors’ board rule and we are charging him for that.”

The Censors Board approves films, music and literature for decency in the conservative, Muslim-majority state. It was established in 2002 to regulate the State’s booming film and music industry popular among Hausa speakers in Nigeria’s northern States.

Films, music and literature require mandatory approval of the Board before release to ensure they conform to Islamic law that runs parallel to the federal and state justice systems in 12 northern states.