President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, Mubarak Bala, has started receiving death threats for ‘insulting Prophet Muhammad’ on Facebook, SaharaReporters has gathered.
Bala was arrested by men of the Nigerian Police in Kaduna for blasphemy.
His arrest followed a petition by a group of lawyers to the Kano State Police Commissioner to prosecute him for the act.
One of Bala’s friends, who spoke with SaharaReporters on Wednesday, said a popular Muslim cleric and a policeman both in Kano have both vowed to kill him if found.
He said, “We have spoken to the Police Public Relations Officers in Kaduna and he told us that Mubarak's case was not their case.
“He said the detectives that arrested him were sent from Kano. We pressed to know if they would transfer the case to Force Headquarters in Abuja but he said no, that Mubarak will be transferred to Kano where the complaint was lodged.
“In the past weeks, Mubarak has received several death threats from extremists in Kano including an Imam. A police officer had also threatened to kill him if he found him.”
Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that Bala, who is an atheist, is already being moved to Kano where he could be executed if found guilty under Sharia law.
Reacting to the issue, rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said that Bala could not be subjected to Sharia law because he doesn’t subscribe to it.
He said, “It is only Moslems that are subject to Sharia law and that is the constitution because Sharia law is an Islamic law that governs lifestyle of Moslems who subscribe to Islam and followers of Prophet Muhammed.
“I, as a Christian, have no business with Sharia law, I don't believe in it, so there is no way I can be subjected to it.
“I have an ideological objection to blasphemy laws because more often than not, those laws mirror the civilisation of a society.
“As much as people are encouraged to be responsible in their speech, I do not believe that in this age and time that people should be thrown in jail for allegedly insulting a god or a supreme being.”