Appeal Court reduces 24-year blasphemy sentence of popular atheist

The Appeal Court in Kano has reduced an atheist, Mubarak Bala,’s 24-year sentence to five years.

Bala currently serves as President of the Nigerian Humanist Association.

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’.

Platinum Times 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.”

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