Mubarak Bala is a Nigerian atheist and president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria. Bala was arrested for blasphemy against Allah and His Prophet (SWA) and was consequently arraigned.
Bala, who had initially pleaded not guilty to the crime, backtracked on Tuesday and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 45 years’ imprisonment by a Kano State High Court.
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Born in Kano State in the mid 80s, here are 10 things you may want to know about Bala.
– Bala is the husband of Amina Ahmed, a father and a chemical engineer.
– He attended the Islamic Foundation, Aliyu Bin Abi Talib Primary School.
– He later attended private science secondary school, Hassan I. Gwarzo, in Kano State, where Islamic (Qur’anic) study is given a very high priority.
– He had ambitions of being a leader, in any capacity at the national level.
– Bala was awarded Humanist Society Scotland’s Gordon Ross Humanist of the Year Award On 8 January 2021.
– He became well known in 2014 when the media reported that he had been forcibly drugged and committed to a psychiatric unit by his family members after telling them he was an atheist.
– He was released shortly thereafter and became an outspoken advocate for Nigerian atheist rights and freedoms.
– Bala was arrested on April 28, 2020, reportedly for a Facebook post in which he insulted Prophet Muhammad (SWA).
– In December a federal court in the capital, Abuja, ruled that Bala’s detention was unconstitutional and ordered authorities in Kano to either charge Bala with a crime under secular law or release him.
– On Tuesday, April 5 2022, Bala pleaded guilty and the judge sentenced him to 45 years’ imprisonment.