Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

Thoughts Lead To Appreciation

MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | Part I

DAY 16: Tuesday September 2, 2014. Around noon – Prisoners are not permitted to have a timepiece, and none except one of the female wardens wears a wristwatch, so my timing is based on retro-estimation from when I asked her the time.

I heard my name called by female wardens.

Umm Sulaim! Pack your things. You are going home.

From mid afternoon on Monday 18th of August 2014, I was a prisoner in Sokoto State Prison.

My offence was reasoning with the magistrate judge of Wamakko, Fatimah Suka who charged me with contempt of court.

She asked me to remove my Niqab to which I agreed, except she meant I should unveil not just for her as I had reasoned, because she is a woman, but also for the men present.

Thinking is contraband.

Over the years, I have spent precious moments arguing with several Muslims within Nigeria and across the world that the opposition to the Sharee’ah in the far North of my beloved nation Nigeria originate not from the federal government as widely claimed but from the Hausa-Fulani ethnicity.

Contrary to usual dishonesty of the practice by the some Hausa-Fulani of blaming events in the North on Christians, none of the key players in my incarceration and in the ensuing conspiracy to retain me in prison was a Christian.

It is my hope that my recent experiences at the hands of Hausa-Fulanis will further elucidate to minds receptive of reason the actual situation in Northern Nigeria.

On hearing of the end to my imprisonment, I rushed from my cell in the female wing of the prison towards the wardens.

Playfully drumming on the torso of the most senior female staff present, I enquired the veracity of the news.

It was true. I was about to leave the high walls of prison.

I returned to my cell, fell in prostration to Allah and wept.

AlHamduliLlah.

When I was informed I would be going to court, I turned back to my cell my luggage in hand.

I am not going to court.

One of the staff left towards the main prison entrance in order to clarify events. She returned in company of four male prison officials.

One a senior warden calmly explained the procedure: A prisoner if remanded can leave the prison only on the issuance of a production warrant by the judge who on seeing the inmate rules on whether to grant bail or dismiss the case.

I bid farewell to women officials and left accompanied by a female warden, after being briefed not to put on my Niqab and socks until after the judge issues a ruling.

When I pleaded not guilty, Fatimah Suka granted me bail and adjoined the case to September 22, 2014.

I need a copy of court records of the case. The lawyer from the Sokoto office of National Human Rights Commission advised I can only obtain court records if the case continues.

The barrister was helpful, however, I need an alternative legal team preferably from the South, regardless of ethnicity or creed.

The current case of incitement to public disturbance is a distraction from the real case I wish to pursue.

I pray a Nigerian versed in legal proceedings will render services so I can pursue the case of assault against me by my neighbour Sirajo Aliyu to a fruitful conclusion.

The Nigeria Police had charged both Sirajo and I with public disturbance – two fighting the police claimed.

Imagine that!

A man attacks a woman and she defends herself with a knife, it is two persons fighting. Violence against women goes out the window.

Interestingly, Sirajo Aliyu was discharged on pleading guilty.

It is not over yet, I promise.

I profoundly appreciate the police officials and prison wardens who were warm towards me from the outset throughout my contact with them.

I must stress the goodwill cut across Religion and ethnicity. I am especially grateful to wardens M.I, and H.G who were consistent in standing for justice and saw to my comfort.

I acknowledge the couple of Hausa-Fulani prison wardens who stood out from the abyss of their people. In fact, the very first to visit me in prison was Hausa-Fulani who kept true to me.

I do appreciate everyone who visited me and others who were distressed on learning of my imprisonment.

 

~ Post-Publication Addendum ~

Please note my full official name is Umm Sulaim Iman Taqwa and my ethnicity is Igbo not Yoruba.

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7 comments on “MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | Part I

  1. Pingback: MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | In Court | Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

  2. Pingback: MY INCARCERATION IN SOKOTO | In Court IV | Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

  3. Nma
    October 11, 2014

    Your writing speaks volume. You are indeed very brave

    • Umm Sulaim
      October 11, 2014

      My dear,

      Thank you very much.

      My courage is founded in the Sharee’ah.

      Islam accords women inviolable rights and freedoms.

      Remember to share the articles with your loved ones.

      We need to educate people that Muslim women need not be victims.

      The one and only,
      Umm Sulaim

  4. Nazifi B. Ibrahim
    November 15, 2014

    Awww now I understand why you write all this I promise not to bother you again, Sorry I mean it. You came to far North to cause disturbance and create conflict, because of something the Northerners did to your people years ago.

    All I ask is that you study Islam say a little more, no actually a lot more before using it to masqurade your intent. An Igbo woman in Hubbare really??!!!!

    I’m sorry if only I knew that before I wouldn’t have said/commented on anything you say. Allah mai mutane.

    What Surajo or whatever did was wrong very wrong you should be left alone if they don’t want you in the neighborhood they can buy off the house you live in and ask you to move that is what my ppl would hve done. Because having you around innocent Hausa children is a very very bad idea no matter hw you look at it religiously, culturally etc.

    Nigeria is a secular state so ypu have the right to do anything you feel likebut they also have same rights and even more like say to protect their children from exposure to undesirable things.

    I’m not saying you are not a Muslim, as a Muslim myself I cannot say that without going against the teachings of Islam, but what you are doing is undermining Islam and I’m telling you this because I feel like you really do not know, because I believe you still think you are doing right by Allah.

    I’m sorry I really am. But I understand you now and I will like to be a friend. I promise to be 100% polite and I promise to understand too(try). I want to be a friend because of your courage and resillience and how you fight for what you believe in. As your friend my first advice to you is please be safe, Nigeria and Islam needs people like you.

    • Umm Sulaim
      November 16, 2014

      Nazifi,

      Congratulations for proving in your paragraphs everything I have written about Hausa-Fulanis.

      My akada will be able to understand that.

      Some bad news for you: Nigeria protects the right of citizens to live anywhere in this nation.

      The one and only,
      Umm Sulaim

  5. Pingback: ANNUAL REPORT 2014 | Umm Sulaim's Thoughts

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