Jatau regains freedom after 18 months in detention

Rhoda Jatau

After 18 months in prison, Rhoda Jatau, a Bauchi woman who condemned the alleged killing of Samuel Deborah in Sokoto State, has regained her freedom.

A reliable source who spoke on condition of anonymity told our correspondent that Jatau was released on bail on Friday following interventions by the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council and the Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria.

The Telegraph reports that Jatau, a mother of five, had been detained since May 2022 on the grounds of blasphemy, for sharing a video condemning the lynching of a student, Deborah.

Deborah, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was brutally murdered after advising against sending religious materials on a WhatsApp page.

The source, however, did not reveal bail conditions or which court had granted Jatau bail, but noted that the Inter-Religious Council had played “a key role” in securing her bail and release.

“Following the outcry from the Christian community in Nigeria over the continued detention of Rhoda Jatau in Bauchi Prison, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide Nigeria have swiftly intervened in the matter.

“We are pleased to report that Mrs Rhoda has been granted bail and subsequently released from detention today. We have high hopes that the case will end in praise. Let’s continue to uphold her in our prayers. The leadership of NIREC played a key role. Praise be to our God”, he told our correspondent.