A Sharia court in Kano has ordered the arrest and investigation of 10 northern Nigerian celebrities for “immoral conduct” on social media.
According to Baba-Jibo Ibrahim, a judicial official, the court granted the order following a lawsuit filed by lawyers.
Wikki Times gathered that the lawsuit had called for the celebrities’ prosecution for singing and dancing to “immoral” songs and broadcasting them online.
The accused celebrities include four men and six women; a popular hip-hop singer, a famous film actress and eight TikTok influencers with massive followers, The Herald Nigeria reports.
The court order lists strict measures often imposed by authorities in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north to regulate social media content and compel users to adapt to tradition and religious norms.
Sharia law in Nigeria operates alongside criminal and civil law in 12 Muslim-dominated northern states.
“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 official said.
Ado Gwanja, a popular hip-hop artist is accused of broadcasting a song titled “A Sosa”, which translates to “Scratch your body” in the Hausa language which has triggered other celebrities to dance to its tune online.
This has provoked controversies online, especially in Kano, prompting a rebuke from Islamic clerics.
However, nine days after the court order, none of the accused had been arrested or reported to the police, Ibrahim confirmed.
“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 stated.
Also, none of the accused has so far reacted publicly.
Similarly, Nigeria’s broadcasting regulator NBC had on Tuesday restricted television and radio stations from airing Gwanja songs for containing indecencies and “portrayal of drunkenness as an acceptable way of life”.
On his part, Ismail Na-Abba, head of Kano’s film censorship board said: “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,” he added.
Leading the Hausa entertainment industry, Kannywood has for long been under scrutiny by Muslim clerics who believe it nurtures un-Islamic foreign norms, provoking authorities to establish a censorship board and even extending the authority to social media.