Human Rights Group Alleges Plan To Attack Her
The Bauchi State government will on Monday arraign a Christian woman, Rhoda Ya’u Jatau for Blasphemy and cybercrime, according to credible information made available to NOHR last night. This is coming a few days after a Kano Upper Shariah Court sentenced an Islamic cleric Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara to death by hanging for blasphemy.
Mrs. Rhoda Ya’u, 45 a staff of the Primary Healthcare Board, Warji in Bauchi state has been held by the Bauchi authorities since her arrest on May 20 on allegations of blasphemy. She was arrested by the Nigerian Secret police in her hometown of Katanga Warji LGA after she forwarded a video on WhatsApp which was considered blasphemous. It was alleged that she forwarded a video to a WhatsApp group of her workplace, wherein a former Ghanaian Muslim was condemning the brutal lynching of a Christian college student – Deborah Emmanuel on May 12 in Sokoto State. Sources in Bauchi say Ya’u’s Muslim colleagues circulated the post, claiming she had blasphemed the Prophet, Muhammed.
The incident led to a violent protest in the town with more than 200 youths armed with sticks and knives attacking churches and other buildings and calling for her death.
Jatau has since been remanded at the Medium Correctional Center Bauchi after she was charged with “inciting public disturbance; exciting contempt of religious creed; and cyberstalking”,
Group Raises Alarm Over Her Safety
The Switzerland-based international human rights group Christian Solidarity International (CSI) on Sunday raised concern over her safety. Speaking exclusively to NOHR, the group’s Director of Genocide Prevention in Africa Dr. Franklyne Ogbunwezeh said there is credible information available to the CSI about the plan to kill Rhoda Jatau during her arraignment tomorrow(today).
“This alleged plan to kill Rhoda Jatau, a Christian woman detained and tried on allegations of blasphemy, is a serious one, since we were all witnesses as a mob of Muslim fanatics lynched and murdered another Christian girl, Deborah Yakubu in Sokoto on the 22nd of May last year. We urge the Nigerian government and the government of Bauchi State to protect the life of this woman, whom the Nigerian constitution presumes innocent until proven guilty.” Said Dr. Ogbunwezeh