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A court sitting in Katsina State on Tuesday sentenced a 77-year-old man, Lawal Izala, to 18 months imprisonment.
Izala was arrested last week for allegedly insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Aminu Masari.
According to the statement issued by the Police, he and two others were charged with the Cyber Crime Act.
The Police statement reads in parts, “Any person found taking undue advantage of the social media to insult others, contrary to the provisions of the Cyber Crime Act, will face the wrath of the law.”
But Yusuf Anka, an active online user from Katsina shared a video shortly after Izala’s arrest on social media and transcribed what Izala and the Police officer said to newsmen in Hausa.
The septuagenarian and two others were arraigned for inciting disobedience to civil authorities and disrespect to authorities through demeaning utterances.
But speaking with journalists on Tuesday, Izala said he spoke out of anger when he visited his village and found out that bandits had killed his family members and rustled 15 of his cows.
Delivering judgement on the matter, the court found Izala guilty of two count charges of inciting violence and disrespect for civil authorities.
He was sentenced to six months jail term for the first charge and one year for the other charge.
Izala was however, given the option of 10,000 fine for the first charge and N20,000 for the second offence.
Read the statement the Police had issued about the suspects shortly after their arrests, though Izala claims to be 77, the statement by the Police reads 70.
Police have arrested Lawal Abdullahi Izala, ‘m’, aged 70yrs, Bahajaje Abu, ‘m’, aged 30yrs and Hamza Abubakar, ‘m’, aged 27yrs all of Gafai Quarters, Katsina, Katsina state for insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and the executive governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, CFR.”
The trio were said to have insulted Buhari in a viral video on the social media according to the statement issued.
Gambo Isah, spokesman of the Katsina police command said: “The attention of the Katsina state police command has been drawn to a viral video on social media showing one Lawal Abdullahi, alias “IZALA”, ‘m’, aged 70yrs of Gafai quarters, Katsina, Katsina state, who was contemptuously insulting the President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, and his excellency, the executive governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, CFR.
The statement reads in parts, “Consequently, the commissioner of police, Katsina state command, CP Sanusi Buba, ordered for investigation, which led to the arrest of the trio of Lawal Abdullahi Izala, ‘m’, aged 70yrs, Bahajaje Abu, ‘m’, aged 30yrs and Hamza Abubakar, ‘m’, aged 27yrs all of Gafai Quarters, Katsina, Katsina state.
“In the course of investigation suspects confessed to the committing the offences.
“To this end, the command wishes to warn members of the general public that the police will not fold its arms and watch while disgruntled elements violate the sacred laws of the land,” Isah added.
“Any person found taking undue advantage of the social media to insult others, contrary to the provisions of the Cyber Crime Act, will face the wrath of the law.”
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