Nigerian Atheist Sentenced to 24 Years Imprisonment Over Facebook Post Termed as Blasphemy

Kano State High Court has sentenced a Nigerian atheist, Mubarak Bala, president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria to 24 years imprisonment after he reportedly pleaded guilty to an 18-count charge of blasphemy levelled against him by the Kano State government.

He was arrested at his home in Kaduna State on April 28, 2020, over his Facebook post which caused an outrage among Muslim faithfuls and considered to be a blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed and Islam.

Mr Bala was subsequently arrested following a petition by a lawyer, S.S Umar, and other Islamic clerics and transferred to Kano State where he was held for two years without charges and with whereabouts unknown to his family and lawyer.

He was later charged and appeared before a judge, Farouk Lawan, of Kano High Court 4 on Tuesday April 5, 2022 where he pleaded guilty to all 18 counts laid against him.

Mr Bala insisted he was not going to change his plea when the judge asked him whether he understood the consequences of his guilty plea.

The spokesperson, Kano Ministry of Justice, Baba Jibo, in a statement, said Mr Bala was sentenced to 48 years for inciting contempt of religion and breach of public peace.

“He was convicted after pleaded guilty before the court with 18 count charges. The court ordered that the imprisonment term be commenced from the time he was initially arrested.

“Similarly, the court ordered the term should similarly run concurrently.

“By the order, the convict should serve 24 years in a correctional facility,” Mr Jibo said.

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