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.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.
"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."