Free Iyan Tama

This website is dedicated to shedding light on the unjust imprisonment of one of Nigeria's most beloved Hausa movie producers and political activists: Iyan Tama.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breaking News: Iyan-Tama released after appeal process

As recently reported by many Nigerian news sources Iyan-Tama's appeal of his corrupt and unjust imprisonment has finally been accepted.

As reported by Leadership Nigeria:

The appeal filed by the accused suffered many set- backs before it was finally mentioned on the 6th of this month. At the mention of the appeal before a state High Court, the accused counsel prayed the court to quash the case or order for retrial with compensation to the convict.

The state counsel, appearing for the defendants urged the court to order a retrial before a more competent magistrate.

He disqualified the appellant's request for quashing the earlier trial. However, the court, in the verdict yesterday, issued a retrial order without compensation for the filmmaker who has spent over 60 days in prison.

Despite this great victory the battle against undue censorship is not over and Iyan-Tama continues to require our help and support as he faces the upcoming retrial.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No Justice: Iyan-Tama Jailed By Corrupt Officials

Free Iyan-Tama has recently been informed that Alhaji Hamisu Iyan Tama has had two felonious charges brought against him by a Kano state judge. Iyan-Tama has been ordered to at least 3 months in jail as well as a fine of 300 000 naira; along with this Iyan-Tama faces a fine of 10 000 naira or an additional 12 months in prison.

This sentencing comes after a lengthy process that began in May of 2008. The ruling was presided over by judge Mukhtar Ahmed in a special mobile court created to oversee cases associated with the censorship regime of the Kano Censorship Board. The judge put an end to the trial and passed this sentence after becoming impatient with the prosecution's inability to present witnesses in a timely fashion.

The entire situation has long been viewed by many as a political response to Iyan-Tama's contestation of thef gubernarial position in Kano state currently held by Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. As stated by Iyan-Tama in an interview with Leadership Nigeria earlier this year:

"The whole issue of my arrest is political, designed to humiliate me. You know, I contested the election against Malam Shekarau last year. Since then I have openly opposed some of his policies, which is in the interest of the good people of Kano State. And they know I still intend to contest the governorship election in 2011.

"But even though I disagree with them over the censorship laws, I refused to break any law. I shot the movie in Kaduna to prove that I am law-abiding. The US embassy premiered it in Abuja. And the film is not on sale anywhere in Kano. My production company was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. I decided not to renew my registration with the state censorship board because I have secured an office in Abuja, where I am planning to move."
The situation becomes increasingly sinister as there are reports of a plot to murder Iyan-Tama during his three month incarceration. It has become clear that the Kano Censorship Board believes it has a mandate to take any action regardless of constitutional legality, ethics or religious morality.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


It has come to our attention that Iyan Tama has once again been jailed. Details are sparse at the moment but we have been informed that he has feloniously been held in contempt of court after the site of his trial was moved without his knowledge. When he arrived at the new site, he was accused of being late and imprisoned. It is now clear that his opponents will stop at nothing, and stoop to any level in order to defame and incarcerate him.

Spread the word. This injustice must come to an end if we are to live in a free and prosperous society.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Trial Delayed After Important Evidence Revealed

The Kano Censorship Board has delayed the trial against Iyan Tama after he and his counsel presented clear proof that the filming of Tsintsiya was in the legal bounds of the law.

The evidence included receipts for registration payments to the Kano Censorship Board, documents proving registration and documents from the Censorship Board confirming the license to film.

As the Censorship Board struggles to back track, one must wonder why they initiated a false legal challenge when they were clearly aware that Iyan Tama was acting within the bounds of the law. As time goes on the malicious intent of the board is becoming apparent.

Below are photographs of the evidence provided:

Actual Decision of KSCB

Proof of Payment to KSCB

Production Permit

Certificate of Registration

Friday, May 16, 2008

Iyana Tama Free

After significant pressure from multiple sources, both international and domestic, Hamisu Iyan Tama has been released on bail. His legal council and thousands of supporters were present at the Kano jail in which he was being held and judges were overwhelmed as the whole of Kano came to a stand still in an emotional show of solidarity for the movie star and political activist. While this is a significant victory for those who believe in justice and freedom, continued vigilance is required in order to ensure that the voice of the people will not be silenced and that those who attempt to do so will be held accountable. This aggregious and criminal event has been a wake up call for the people of Kano and we shall no longer stand quietly while the rights and freedoms of Nigerians are being abused.

We would like to thank the numerous visitors to this website and all the support you have provided. We shall continue fighting the good fight.

Supporters Escorting Iyan Tama

Iyan Tama After Being Freed

More Photos

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tsintsiya Wins Award for Best Film on Social Issues

From the website of the US Embassy in Nigeria:

“Tsintsiya” (The Broom), a Hausa movie adaptation of the 1950s classic musical West Side Story has won the 2008 Zuma Award for best film on social issues. Tsintsiya producer, Hamisu Lamido Iyan-Tama received the award presented by an official of the Federal Ministry of Information and Communications at the closing ceremony of the biennial Zuma Film Festival held at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja on May 8th.

Link - U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Nigeria

U.S. Embassy Screens Tsintsiya

"The United States Embassy in Abuja yesterday screened a Hausa movie, "Tsintsiya", as part of its programme called "Celebration of diversity and democracy" aimed at promoting national unity in Nigeria."

Link - (Article by Aisha Umar)

Our Mandate

This website is dedicated to shedding light on the unjust imprisonment of one of Nigeria's most beloved Hausa movie producers: Iyan Tama.

He was imprisoned for allegedly disregarding censorship laws imposed by the Kano Censorship Board on the Hausa movie industry.

His ground breaking movie, Tsintsiya, has in fact been approved at the federal level and is hailed by critics as an important landmark in the development of social peace in Nigeria.

Funded partially by the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria as part of an anti-violence and cultural tolerance campaign, Tsintsiya is a modern day Nigerian adaptation of the movie West Side Story.

Contact your local politicians, Nigerian embassies and media outlets to express your support for Iyan Tama and cultural peace and acceptance in Nigeria.