Ten local celebrities are to be arrested and investigated over Immoral content on social media, as directed by an Islamic court in northern Nigeria.
According to the Sharia Court, the alleged immoral conduct by the celebrities on social media is capable of influencing youth.
A judicial spokesperson, Baba-Jibo Ibrahim told newsmen that the court ordered the arrest on Tuesday last week after lawyers filed a lawsuit, calling for their prosecution for singing, dancing and sharing “immoral” songs online.
He said: “The Upper Sharia court gave an order to the police commissioner to arrest the 10 suspects and carry out an investigation on the roles they played in displaying immoral conduct.”
The order which highlights strict regulatory measures by northern states over social media content involved celebrities disclosed as four men and six women, including a popular hip-hop singer, a famous film actress and eight TikTok influencers with huge followings.
Meanwhile, 12 Muslim-majority northern states use Sharia law which operates alongside criminal and civil law in Nigeria.
One of the celebrities accused is a Hip-hop singer, Ado Gwanja who is accused of releasing a song titled “A Sosa”.
The song whose title in Hausa language means “Scratch your body” has generated furore in Kano and condemnations from islamic clerics as the other accused celebrities also danced to it in videos online.
However, the judicial spokesperson noted that days after the court order, none of the accused has been arrested or reported to the police.
“We will wait for the completion of the investigation by the police for the next line of action to be taken by the court,” he said.
While Gwanja and other nine accused celebrities have not reacted to the order publicly, the NBC – Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator – on Tuesday banned airing of another of Gwanja songs by radio and television stations for containing obscenities and “portrayal of drunkenness as an acceptable way of life.”
Kano is the second-largest city in Nigeria and home to Kannywood – a blooming film industry which produces hundreds of films monthly in Hausa – a local language spoken in the region and across West Africa.
Also, the industry houses hundreds of musical studios which produce songs dwelling on love, marriage and money by local artists like Gwanja and others.
However, as a result of the belief by Muslim clerics and officials that the industry promoted un-Islamic foreign values, Kannywood has already been under close watch with authorities created a censorship board.
Ismail Na-Abba, head of Kano’s film censorship board in an interview with AFP, said the board has extended its authority to social media over increasing use of it by Kannywood for skits and songs.
“Social media has a wider reach and potential to circulate content to a large audience.
“For this, we will not allow anyone to hide under the ubiquity of social media to spread immoral content.”
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