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Appeal Court Slashes Atheist, Mubarak Bala’s 24-year Blasphemy Sentence

 

The 24-year sentence handed to an atheist, Mubarak Bala has been reduced.

 

The Appeal Court sitting in Kano slashed the sentence from 24 years to five years.

 

Bala is the President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria.

 

He was arrested at his residence in Kaduna over alleged blasphemy and incitement.

 

A Kano State High Court had in 2022 sentenced Bala to 24 years imprisonment for committing blasphemy against Allah and Prophet Muhammad.

 

Bala subsequently appealed the 24-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to charges of ‘causing a public disturbance’.

 

It was learnt on Monday that the Court of Appeal has reduced his sentence to five years in prison.

 

His lawyer, James Ibor, shared the news in a post on his Facebook page titled “Mubarak Bala’s first victory”.

 

Bala had instructed his lawyers to appeal the sentence on four grounds.

 

The four grounds of the appeal are – “Lack of jurisdiction of the Kano State High Court; the Judge’s predisposition to convict as indicated in the delivery of his ruling; failure to accord Bala the benefits of a guilty plea and misapplication of law in sentencing Bala to consecutive terms.”