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Humanists In Jos Condemn Court Verdict On Mubarak Bala, Seek His Release

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Humanists In Jos Condemn Court Verdict On Mubarak Bala, Seek His Release

More outrage on Wednesday trailed the judgment handed to the President of the Humanists Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, by the presiding judge of a high court in Kano State.

The fresh condemnation came from humanists in Jos, Plateau State, who issued a statement with the title ” Mubarak Bala and the religious cruelty.”

The statement which was unsigned reads: “Mubarak Bala is an ex-Muslim cum atheist, who had denounced Islam sometime in 2014. He has since taken to social media to criticize some Islamic teachings and practices which did not sit well with some devotees.

“He was later arrested after being kidnapped from his home in Kaduna State on April 28, 2020, and taken to Kano State by Islamic state-controlled security apparatus.

“He was held incommunicado against his fundamental human rights for 706 (seven hundred and six) days by religious fanatics in the guise of the Kano State government. He was denied bail and visit from his wife, son, friends, and well-wishers. His physical and mental health deteriorated from prolonged incarceration among other inhumane treatment he received while being held in detention.

“His case was once again heard on the 707th day of his incarceration and judgment was delivered on that same day, Tuesday, 5th of April, 2022 by Justices ??? of a high court in Kano state. He was sentenced to 24 years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty – against the advice of his counsel and legal team – to 18 count charges bordering on blasphemous and inciting posts he made on his social media page(s).

You may now be tempted to execute the following pirouette: He shouldn’t have criticized or talked about other people’s religious beliefs and/or practices. But we have to admit that religious beliefs are mere ideologies that have been passed down for many generations. As such, when such ideas are challenged through criticism, people shouldn’t be killed or maimed or incarcerated or imprisoned. This simply shows how gruesomely cruel people could be under the influence of religion.

READ ALSO: Humanists Outraged Over Sentencing of Mubarak Bala for Blasphemy

“And yet that is exactly the society we are living in. This is the woefully irrational world that religious fanatics and extremists are working so tirelessly to create.

“It is terrible that we will all die and lose everything we love; it is doubly terrible that so many human beings suffer needlessly while alive. That so much of this suffering can be directly attributed to religion – religious hatreds, religious wars, religious taboos, and religious diversions of scarce resources – is what makes the honest criticism of religious faith a moral and intellectual necessity.

“Unfortunately, expressing such criticism places nonbelievers such as Mubarak Bala and thousands of other Mubaraks out there at the margins of society. By merely being in touch with reality, they appear shamefully out of touch with the fantasy life of their religiously fanatic neighbours.

“Devout Muslims are as convinced as they could be that their religion is perfect and that any deviation or criticism leads directly to hell and every debate about public policy is subverted to the whims of ancient authors. This is a horrific misappropriation of our material, moral, and intellectual resources. and nothing short of RELIGIOUS CRUELTY.

“We, therefore, call on the Kano State government and the Federal Government to see to it that Mubarak Bala is freed from all religiously coated charges brought against him and by extension, free him from RELIGIOUS CRUELTY of any kind. We ask for justice for Mubarak Bala.”

 

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BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor

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BREAKING: Tribunal Sacks Adeleke, Declares Oyetola Osun Governor

An Election Petition Tribunal on Friday sacked PDP’s Ademola Adeleke as Osun State Governor.

The tribunal hearing the APC and Adegboyega Oyetola’s petition annulled the result of the July 16 Osun governorship poll.

Justice Tetsea Kume, while delivering a majority decision declared that INEC did not comply substantially with the Constitution and the provisions of the Electoral Act.

He subsequently deducted the over-voting observed from the votes scored by the candidates and declared that Oyetola won the election, having polled 314, 921, while Adeleke’s score came down to 290, 266.

 READ ALSO: Oyetola Left Behind Over N40b Debts – Adeleke

He directed INEC to withdraw Adeleke’s certificate of return and issued another one to Oyetola who won a majority of the lawful votes.

Meanwhile, a minority decision by one of the judges is being read as at the time of filing this report.

 

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Gyado, Family Need Justice – AfAW

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Gyado, Family Need Justice - AfAW

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) has urged the government to institute legal action against those who lynched Pa Justin Gyado in Gwer East Local Government Area in Benue state.

According to the Advocacy for Alleged Witches (AfAW) Director Dr Leo Igwe, the call has become necessary following the growing pressure on Pa Gyado and family for the release of the suspects from police custody.

“It must be recalled that over ten youths abducted and set ablaze Gyado after accusing him of killing a young man through witchcraft this month. It took the combined efforts of the police, civil defense, and the army, to rescue Pa Justin. But he was severely burnt. Justin was taken to the Federal Medical Center in Makurdi, where he is currently battling for his life. While at the hospital, family sources told the AfAW that one of the perpetrators invaded the hospital and tried to attack and kill Justin.”, AfAW said.

AfAW continues : “Fortunately, in the past few days, the police have arrested five persons linked to this horrific act. And the investigation is ongoing. However, information reaching the Advocacy for Alleged Witches is that relatives of the suspects are pressuring Pa Gyado’s family members to get the police to release the suspects. They are holding meetings and plotting several ways to frustrate the case. The police should not yield to this pressure and scheme. Justin is at the hospital nursing his wounds at his own expense without any support from the community. The community leaders are only interested in securing the release of those who attempted to murder him. The AfAW is asking the police in Benue not to release these suspects and to ensure that justice is done in this case. The police should use Pa Gyado’s case to demonstrate their commitment to upholding the rule of law and enforcing the criminal provisions against witchcraft accusations and jungle justice. The government of Benue should expedite efforts to ensure the prosecution of all implicated in this savage act. The case of Pa Gyado is the second to be reported in the Gwer East in recent months.

READ ALSO: AfAW Urges Victims, Survivors Of Witch Persecution In Benue To Speak Out

“In October last year, two men were reportedly murdered after they were accused of witchcraft. The police have not arrested anyone linked to that murder to date. If the police yielded to pressure and allowed these suspects to go scot free, they would be encouraging impunity and injustice. If the government of Benue state did not prosecute these suspects, it would be sending a message that perpetrators of witch persecution and jungle justice would get away with their crimes. And it would not reflect positively on the police, and the government of Benue state.

“Pa Justin Gyado and his family need justice. The world is watching.”

 

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BREAKING: Frank Mba Becomes Lagos Police Commissioner, Idowu Owohunwa Takes Over In Ogun

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BREAKING: Frank Mba Becomes Lagos Police Commissioner

The Nigerian Inspector General of Police (IGP), Alkali Baba, has approved the redeployment of two commissioners of police to Lagos and Ogun States respectively.The commissioners of police concerned are: Frank Mba and Idowu Owohunwa.

This was stated in a letter dated January 24, 2023, and signed by Hafiz Inuwa, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police to the Police Service Commission (PSC).

While Mba, who had served as the Force spokesman and appointed as the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory, would be replacing Abiodun Alabi in Lagos, while Owohunwa, former principal staff officer of the IGP, would take over from Lanre Bankole in Ogun.

This comes just over a month before the elections.

Nigerians will vote next month to elect a new president to succeed Muhammadu Buhari, who is finishing his second term in office.

READ ALSO: Police Begin Physical Screening Of Applicants For Recruitment Feb 1

The posting, according to the letter, was part of a strategy to strengthen the strategic and operational control of the Lagos and Ogun commands.

“I am directed to humbly write and forward the proposed posting of the under-mentioned commissioners of police to state commands indicated against their names for the commission’s kind consideration and approval,” the letter reads.

“The Inspector-General of Police is deploying the under-mentioned commissioners of police to strengthen the strategic and operational control of the commands.”

 

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