Dr. John Danfulani who is a critic of Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, was yesterday, arraigned before a Kaduna High Court presided over by Justice Bilkisu Mohammed for ‘inciting comments’ on Facebook.
When the issue of bail was raised by his lawyer, Mr. James Kanyip, Justice Bilkisu said she was too busy to entertain the application, saying she had a seminar to attend and would only be back on November 7. John Danfulani had been arraigned for the same offence by Kaduna State at the Magistrate’s Court on January 6, before the Chief Magistrate of Court 1, Kaduna, presided over by Mallam Awwalu Musa. The state government lost the case in August, but did not appeal. Danfulani, a former lecturer in the Departments of Political Science, Kaduna State University, KASU, was charged yesterday in a case referenced KDH/KAD/102c/16 at the State High Court.
Danfulani, a political activist, had to resign his job with KASU in August, after he was suspended for “embarrassing” Governor el-Rufai in several of his political commentaries. In the ‘Notice to Prefer a Charge’ by his prosecutors, Bayero Dari and Abdullahi Isiaka for the Ministry of Justice, the state said the criminal charges against Dr. Danfulani fell under Sections 417 and 418 of the Penal Code Law.
Danfulani was alleged to have made a Facebook post on December 28, 2015 where he made comments about fuel scarcity, high foreign exchange and a high number of out-of-school children in the north, with the aim of igniting hatred and contempt. He pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him. When his lawyer, Kanyip, came up with the issue of his bail, the judge said he should be remanded in prison till November 7.