Mubarak Bala: 300 Days in Detention Without Trial
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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BREAKING:Lagos Govt Arraigns Chrisland School, Principal, Others Over Death Of Pupil Whitney Adeniran
The Lagos State government has arraigned Chrisland School, Opebi, its principal, vice principal and two other employees over the death of one of the school’s pupils, 12-year-old Whitney Adeniran.
On Wednesday, the government of Lagos State had filed charges against Chrisland School and four others over the death of the 12-year-old pupil, Whitney Adeniran.
The school and its workers were accused of involuntary manslaughter and reckless and negligent acts.
The workers who were arraigned before Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos State High Court in Ikeja include Ademoye Adewale, Kuku Fatai, Mrs Belinda Amao, Nwatu Ugochi Victoria and Chrisland School Limited.
The school principal, Mrs Belinda Amao, broke down in tears while in the dock as the court and counsel tried to agree on a date for the commencement of the trial.
Whitney died during the school’s inter-house sports competition at Agege Stadium in Lagos on February 9.
Blessing Adeniran, her mother, had accused Chrisland of negligence over her daughter’s death.
The school’s management, however, dismissed insinuations that there was foul play in the death, saying she slumped in public.
Chrisland also argued that Whitney complained about “not-too-buoyant health” a few days before she died.
However, an autopsy conducted at the Lagos State University Hospital (LASUTH) confirmed that the deceased died from “asphyxia and electrocution”.
In the charges filed on behalf of the state government by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Babajide Martins, who disclosed that their negligence killed Whitney because they failed to ensure her safety.
The charge also disclosed that they all acted in a reckless and negligent manner that endangered human life.
The offences are contrary to Sections 224 & 251 of the Criminal Law, C17, Vol.3, Laws of Lagos State, 2015
If found guilty, the offences carry a penalty of life imprisonment and two-year jail terms respectively.
On Tuesday, the state government granted access to Chrisland High School, Opebi branch, to open for physical learning ahead of the school’s forthcoming examination after parents’ appeal.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had ordered that the school be shut down on March 3, 2023, following the investigation into Whitney’s death.
Sanwo-Olu through the state Ministry of Education said the closure of the school would pave the way for unhindered investigation and afford all stakeholders, including parents, students, staff and friends of the deceased, time to grieve.
The reopening followed an appeal by the Parents of all Chrisland School Units who visited the Ministry of Education on Monday to seek the government’s understanding for “the sake of 500 plus students some of whom also have terminal examinations.”
The management of the school had tendered an apology over Whitney’s death.
BREAKING: Abacha’s Ex-chief Of Staff Oladipo Diya Dies
Retired Lt.General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya, the former Chief of Staff in General Sani Abacha’s military government, is dead.
His death was confirmed by Prince Oyesinmilola Diya. He said the former military administrator of Ogun State passed on to glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023.
Born on the 3rd of April, 1944, Diya was military Governor of Ogun State after the Buhari-Idiagbon coup of December 31st, 1983.
Diya joined the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna and fought during the Nigerian Civil War.
He later attended the US Army School of Infantry, the Command and Staff College, Jaji (1980–1981) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.
While serving in the military, Diya studied law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he obtained an LLB degree, and then at the Nigerian Law School, where he was called to bar as Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He held other top military posts like GOC, 82 Division and finally the Chief of General Staff (military Vice President) to Gen Sani Abacha
The statement read: “On behalf of the entire Diya family home and abroad; we announce the passing on to Glory of our dear Husband,Father, Grandfather,brother, Lt- General Donaldson Oladipo Oyeyinka Diya (Rtd) GCON, LLB, BL, PSC, FSS, mni.
“Our dear Daddy passed onto glory in the early hours of 26th March 2023. Please keep us in your prayers as we mourn his demise in this period. Further announcements will be made public in due course.
“Barrister Prince Oyesinmilola Diya, on behalf of the family.”
Breaking: Appeal Court Retains Adeleke As Osun Governor
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has vacated the tribunal judgement that nullified the election of Governor Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of Justices, on Friday held that the appeal Adeleke lodged to challenge his sack by the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, was meritorious.
Aside from setting aside the judgement of the tribunal, the court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Lawal, awarded N500, 000 cost against the All Progressive Congress, APC, and its candidate, Gboyega Oyetola
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