An atheist, Mubarak Bala, has been arrested by the Kaduna State Police Command for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed on his Facebook page.
He was said to have been arrested at his residence in Kaduna after a group of lawyers forwarded a petition to the Kano Commissioner of Police to prosecute him for the alleged inciting comments.
The petition by the group, which was signed by one S.S. Umar reads in part: “We are submitting this complaint against one Mubarak Bala of Layin Masallacin Bilai, Karkasara Quarters, Kano.
“The said Mubarak was born and raised as a Muslim but for his own personal reason decided to leave Islam for atheism sometime in 2014 and has since then been writing stuff on his Facebook page that are provocative and annoying to the Muslims.”
Another petition by Change.org titled ‘Mubarak Bala’s Facebook Account Should be Closed,’ started about three days ago, has been signed by 16,942 people as of Wednesday morning.
Bala may be tried under the Sharia Penal Code for blasphemy.
On Monday, Bala had posted: “Fact is, you have no life after this one. You have been dead before, long before you were born, billions of years on death.”
He is also known to have attacked Christian clerics through his posts on Facebook in the past.
Responding to enquiries on the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer in Kaduna State, Mohammed Jalige, said: “I cannot tell you anything about the offence, why he was arrested. We only received a signal that he should be arrested. It is not our case. The case is (for) Kano State Command.”
When asked if the suspect would be transferred to Kano, Jalige responded: “I don’t know actually. We are waiting for further directives from Kano State Command. He was arrested yesterday. He is in police custody currently.”
Bala, in 2014, when he was 29-year-old, was forcefully committed by his family to a psychiatric hospital in Kano when he renounced Islam.
He was later discharged from the psychiatric hospital after he was declared sane.