Nigerian humanist, Mubarak Bala has been held incommunicado since his arrest in April. The police in Kano have not granted him access to a lawyer and to family members. Several petitions have been sent to the police in Kano urging them to release Mr Bala. But these entreaties have largely been ignored. Several representations have been made to the governor of Kano, Umar Ganduje and other eminent leaders in the region. Unfortunately there has been a deafening silence from state agencies and officials. In an effort to get authorities in the region to take action, campaigners have put their message in a local language, Hausa, which is widely spoken in Kano and across the North.
First of all, they are asking: Ina Mubarak Bala yake? Where is Mubarak Bala? It is necessary that the police and other officials understand that this is a question in the hearts and minds of many concerned persons across the globe. People are worried about the disappearance of Mr. Bala, his safety and well being. There has been some report that he is in a protective custody. But that is utter nonsense. A person in protective custody should not be denied access to a lawyer and to family members. Should he? Being in protective custody should not stop the police from charging him in court or formally arraigning him? The police have been giving excuses upon excuses regarding why they have not charged him or commenced his prosecution. Many people are speculating that Mr. Bala might have been killed and the police are claiming to be keeping him in a protective custody as a cover up. So it is not clear where Bala is and how he is detained. So police commissioner and governor of Kano state: Ina Mubarak yake?
The second message urges the authorities in Kano to free him. Bala should unconditionally be freed from detention. Sixty days in police custody without trial or formal charge are enough. Are they not? Bala committed no crime and his arrest was unwarranted and unnecessary. Police in Kano arrested and detained Mubarak Bala to appease the islamists in Kano who have threatened to murder. Bala for making comments on Facebook that insulted Prophet Muhammad.
The alleged comments did not insult the prophet. Muslim fanatics took them out of context and weaponized them to silence Mr. Bala and clamp down on atheists and atheism in the region. After two months in detention, the police and the Ulama in Kano should realize the futility in his continued incarceration. The police should release Mubarak Bala now.
A saki Mubarak Bala.