Court orders police to release Facebook user detained over alleged blasphemy

Court orders police to release Facebook user detained over alleged blasphemy

- A court in Abuja has delivered its verdict on the detention of a man accused of blasphemy

- Justice Inyang Ekwo explained why the detention of the accused was illegal

- The judge cited sections of the constitution which guaranteed Mubarak Bala's rights

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Nigerian police to release Mubarak Bala, a Facebook user who was detained for allegedly using his account to post a message considered to be blasphemous to Islam.

Daily Trust reported that the court declared that the arrest and detention by the police were as an infraction of Bala's rights to personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom expression.

Good news as Abuja court frees Nigerian man detained over alleged blasphemy
Mubarak Bala describes himself as an atheist and humanist. Photo: Mubarak Bala
Source: Facebook

Justice Inyang Ekwo who delivered the verdict also ordered the police to pay the sum of N250,000 as general and exemplary damages to the defendant.

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According to The Punch, the judge ruled that the action of the police was against relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution.

The court stated that:

“In denying the applicant access to his lawyers constitutes a gross infringement of the applicant right to legal rep of his choice under section 34 and 35(2) of the 1999 Constitution.”

Legit.ng learnt that Bala was arrested in February 2020, by the police in Kaduna state following a complaint by some lawyers who accused him of making blasphemous statements.

In another report, the Kano State Hisbah Board has destroyed 1,975,000 bottles of beer, worth over N200 million, confiscated within Kano metropolis, Daily Trust reported.

The state's governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje was represented by his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna, during the destruction of the confiscated bottles of beer which took place at Kalebawa in Dawakin Tofa local government area.

Explaining the reason behind the development, the Kano state governor said consumption of alcohol and all other intoxicants that can distort mental capability is forbidden in Islam.

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