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Mubarak Bala: 300 Days in Detention Without Trial



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By Leo Igwe

Yesterday marked 300 days since Nigerian Humanist, Mubarak Bala has been in detention without trial. Last year, some Muslim fanatics in Kano accused him of blasphemy. They petitioned the police, who arrested and detained him. He has yet to be formally charged, three hundred days after his arrest. While Kano authorities have worked together to resolve other cases of blasphemy, they have tactfully ignored Bala’s. For instance, the ministry of justice through the appeal court, the correctional services department (the prisons), and the police collaborated in processing the appeals of Yahaya Shariff and Umar Farouk. The appeal court ordered a retrial of Shariff’s case but acquitted Farouk. Also, it took the joint effort of the police, the Kano state ministry of justice including the magistrate’ court at Gaydi Gaydi, the director of public prosecution, the attorney general, and the correctional services department to acquit the Christian barber and two of his clients, who were accused of blasphemy.

In the case of Mubarak Bala, this institutional synergy is missing. This combined action has not been happening. And it is a deliberate scheme by Kano authorities to frustrate the case and ensure that Bala remains behind bars. The police and the ministry of justice continue to deceive the outside world. They are using all sorts of lies and misinformation to ‘justify’ the illegal detention of Mubarak Bala. For the past 300 days, the police, and the attorney general of Kano State have not disguised their faithful commitment to a miscarriage of justice in the case of Mr. Bala.

For instance, the police arrested and disappeared Bala for the first 180 days. They gave him no access to a lawyer and refused him family visits. They also refused to charge him. Following some local and international pressures, the police approached a magistrates’ court, obtained a warrant through a back door. They remanded him in prison. Yes, the police got the court to transfer him to prison. It took another court order and some pressure on the authorities for the police to allow Mubarak Bala to meet his lawyer. Unlike the cases of Shariff and Farouk, the police and Ministry of Justice have refused to prosecute or acquit Bala. The police and the ministry of justice have worked together to achieve one thing in Bala’s case- a remand. They have worked together to give a semblance of legality to the illegal detention of Mubarak Bala. So it is not the case that these departments cannot work together or join efforts to resolve Bala’s case. They can. But they will not. Kano authorities do not want to resolve the case. Yes, the police and the Ministry of Justice in Kano are not interested in freeing Mubarak Bala. They are only interested in appeasing the Ummah, especially the Islamic base in Kano.

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Even after 300 days without trial, the Kano authorities are still putting up with this judicial charade. They are not willing to formally charge or release Bala. Instead, they are forging and fronting all sorts of excuses. For instance, in reaction to the court order (in December) that asked the police to release Mr. Bala, the police in Kano said Bala was no longer in their custody. Is that not absurd? In whose custody is he? The police arrested him and got a court to remand in a prison in Kano. Didn’t they? Based on this court order, is it not the duty of the police to ensure that Bala is released since they (police) were instrumental in his ‘remand’? Why are the police and the Ministry of Justice making a caricature of themselves and the justice system in Kano? Why are they being cowardly and mischievous in handling his case?

Look, in the case of the Christian barber who was accused of blasphemy, the police prosecutor, a state lawyer, the director of public prosecution, and the attorney general liaised and resolved the matter. It is important to mention that within this period, the police moved the Christian barber and two other accused persons from a police cell to a prison. Still, the matter was speedily settled. There were no buck-passing and alibis. The police or the attorney general did not make excuses when the accused were moved to prison. The various sections worked together and ensured the accused were acquitted.
Unfortunately, this has not happened in the case of Mubarak Bala, and this combined action should happen. After three hundred days in detention without trial, Kano authorities should release Mubarak Bala. No more excuses!

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In Shakeup Of FCT Administration, Wike Sacks Agencies, Parastatals Heads



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Federal Capital Territory Minister Nysom Wike

In a decisive shakeup of the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), its Minister Nyesom Wike, has sacked the heads of 21 parastatals, agencies, and government companies.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Director of Press, Office of the Minister, Anthony Ogunleye, in Abuja on Wednesday.

Ogunleye identified the affected heads of the agencies as follows:

1. Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abuja Investment Company Ltd

2. CEO/Managing Director, Abuja Markets Management Ltd

3. MD/CEO, Abuja Urban Mass Transport Company

4. CEO/MD, Abuja Property Development Company

5. CEO/MD, Abuja Technology Village Free Trade Zone Company

6. CEO/MD, Abuja Film Village International

7. CEO/MD, Powernoth AICL Equipment Leasing Company Ltd

8. MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation

9. MD, Abuja Enterprise Agency

10. General Manager, FCT Water Board

11. Director-General, FCT Emergency Management Agency

12. Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Healthcare Board

13. DG, Hospital Management Board

14. Director, Abuja Environmental Protection Board

15. Director, FCT Scholarship Board

16. Director, FCT Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board

17. Director, Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board

18. Coordinator, Abuja Infrastructure Investment Center

19. Director, FCT Health Insurance Scheme

20. Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development Department

21. Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council

The director of the press said that the affected appointees should hand over the affairs of their offices to the most senior officers in rank.

He added that appointments in the offices would be made in due course.

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Abiodun Urges Prayer For Nigeria At Eid-El Maulud



Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, has urged Muslims across the country to offer prayers for the peace and prosperity of Nigeria on the occasion of Eid-El Maulud.

In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Lekan Adeniran, the Governor emphasized the need for Nigerians to come together and pray for the country’s progress, unity and development.

Governor Abiodun also called on Muslims to emulate the virtues of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), which include love, tolerance, peace, and humility.

He urged Muslims to use the occasion of Eid-El Maulud to reflect on the teachings of the Prophet and strive to live a life of righteousness and selflessness.

The Governor expressed his commitment to providing good and effective governance to the people of Ogun State as he called on Muslims to continue to support his administration and pray for its success.

Eid-ElMaulud is a Muslim holiday that commemorates the birth of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It is celebrated with prayers, fasting, feasting, and acts of charity and generosity.

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You Are A Shining Light In Christendom, Abiodun Tells Oyedepo At 69



Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

Ogun State Governor Prince Dapo Abiodun has described the founder of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop David Oyedepo, as a shining light in Christendom.

He described the bishop as a great man of God and an educationist worth emulating.

Abiodun stated this in his goodwill message to mark Bishop Oyedepo’s 69th birthday.

The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary (CPS), Lekan Adeniran, praised Bishop Oyedepo’s commitment to God, saying he daily motivates his congregation and the larger society to live a purposeful life in accordance with God’s plan.

“Your teachings have transformed the lives of many and have shaped the destiny of our nation.

“As a preacher, you exemplify excellence and have been a source of inspiration to many. Your commitment to the spread of the gospel has not only brought salvation to countless souls, but it has also helped shape the moral fabric of our society,” Abiodun said.

He said that through his involvement in the education sector, the man of God has succeeded in producing many scientists, bankers, lawyers, administrators, among others, adding that one of his universities has consistently been ranked among the best in Africa.

The governor also commended Bishop Oyedepo’s humanitarian efforts, particularly through the David Oyedepo Foundation, which provides scholarships, medical and entrepreneurial support to thousands of people.

“I am grateful for your contributions to the development of Ogun State, particularly in the area of education. Your investment in Covenant University and other educational institutions in the state have greatly impacted the lives of our youth and have helped to raise the standard of education in the state,” Abiodun said.

He prayed that God will continue to bless Bishop Oyedepo with good health, wisdom, and divine guidance as he continues to impact lives and fulfil his divine mandate.

Abiodun prayed for God’s continued blessings and guidance upon the bishop, as well as for more years of impactful service to humanity.

“Once again, I wish you a happy 69th birthday, and I pray that God will grant you many more years in good health,” Abiodun concluded.

Bishop David Oyedepo, who is also the Chancellor of Covenant University and Landmark University, was born on September 27, 1954, in Omu Aran, Kwara State, Nigeria.

He founded the Living Faith Church Worldwide, also known as Winners’ Chapel, which has grown to become one of the largest Christian denominations in Nigeria and the world at large.

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