Lawyers want TikToker who abused Kabaka released on bail citing mental illness

TikToker who abused Kabaka of Buganda arrested
TikToker Ibrahim Musana alias Pressure 24/7 was arrested on Saturday 17, February 2024.

Kampala, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | Lawyers representing jailed TikToker, Ibarahim Musana, popularly known as Pressure 24/7, have submitted an application for a production warrant. The objective is to secure his return to court for a bail application.

In a letter dated February 27, 2024, addressed to the Chief Magistrate at Buganda Road Court, the lawyers from Musoke and Marzuq Advocates assert the urgent need for bail on behalf of their client. They argue that Musana, who was remanded to Luzira Prison on February 23, 2024, and is scheduled to appear again on March 7, 2024, requires ongoing medical attention at Butabika National Referral Hospital due to a mental health condition.

The document reads in part, “We are aware that the accused is asthmatic and that at the time of his arrest, he was an out patient at Butabika Hospital battling against mental illness that he was due for review.” 

TikToker Pressure 24/7 was remanded to Luzira Prison on February 23, 2024, facing eight counts of promoting hate speech. Chief Magistrate Ronald Kayizzi entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf despite Pressure’s claims of mental illness and lack of awareness of any wrongdoing in the creation and posting of videos where he verbally abused individuals, including the Kabaka of Buganda, President Yoweri Museveni, and Speaker of Parliament Anita Among.

The charges against him involve hate speech and spreading malicious information, both violating section 26(a) of the Computer Misuse Act of 2021.

During the plea, TikToker Pressure 24/7, eliciting laughter in the courtroom, asserted he is “psychologically challenged” and had been admitted to Butabika National Referral Hospital for mental health issues.

TikToker Ibrahim Musana alias Pressure 24/7 in the dock at Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s court on February 23, 2024.

He claimed possession by the spirits of deceased Buganda Kings, instructing him to repair the Kasubi tombs, a task he lacked the financial means to undertake. Pressure stated his unsuccessful attempts over two years to contact the Kingdom, identifying himself as a prince and explaining his situation and the spirits’ demands.

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Seeking forgiveness from the magistrate, he pledged to refrain from creating and posting similar videos in the future and to delete existing ones from his TikTok page.

Prosecutor Joan Keko detailed that between August 2023 and February 2024, Pressure 24/7, using his TikTok account, shared information “likely to degrade or demean and promote hostility” against Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, President Museveni, Speaker of Parliament Anita Among, and State Minister for ICT, Joyce Naboosa Ssebugwawo.

Pressure’s arrest followed complaints from Buganda Kingdom officials after videos surfaced where he referred to the Kabaka as a “thief,” among other insults.