President Of Humanists Jailed 24 Years Over Facebook Post
A humanist, Mubarak Bala, has been sentenced to 24 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to all the 18-count charges leveled against him.
Bala, who is the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested at his home in Kaduna on April 28, 2020 and taken to Kano, where complaints of blasphemy and incitement were lodged against him.
He had earlier posted comments critical of Islam, Allah and Prophet Muhammad on Facebook, causing outrage among Muslims.
There has been campaign for his release or trial, with activists saying he was out of touch with his wife and lawyer.
But appearing before Justice Farouk Lawan of Kano High Court 4, Audu Bako Secretariat on Tuesday, Bala pleaded guilty to all the charges.
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When the judge asked him whether he knew the consequences of his guilty plea, Bala insisted not to change his initial plea.
Bala’s lawyer, James Ibor, had earlier tried to persuade his client to change his plea, but he insisted that he was guilty to charges.
The lawyer however cited frustration and fear as reasons for his client’s guilty plea, saying his client had been in prison for two years.
But Bala, who appeared unruffled, raised his hand and told the court that he was guilty as charged.
In his plea of leniency, Bala, however, said the intent of his social media posts was not to cause violence. He therefore promised not to repeat the blasphemous posts in future.
Passing the sentence, Justice Lawan sentenced him to 24 years imprisonment.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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