The Kaduna State Police Command on Wednesday confirmed the arrest of Mubarak Bala.
Spokesman to Kaduna State police Mohammed Jalige in a phone conversation with our correspondent said, “I can confirm to you that he has been arrested and he is in police custody.”
“I cannot tell you about where he is (whether Kaduna or Kano State custody) but he has been arrested.”
Bala, the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested by the police on Wednesday afternoon at his residence in Kaduna State, Jalige disclosed.
Although Jalige did not speak about the reason of the arrest, it is not unconnected to Bala’s recent outburst against Islamic Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a Facebook post.
On Monday, April 27, Mubarak compared popular Lagos pastor and president of Synagogue Church of Nations Prophet TB Joshua to Prophet Mohammed.
“There’s no difference between prophet TB Joshua (S.A.W) of Lagos and Muhammadu (A.S.) of Saudi Arabia, it is better for our Nigeria to be terrorism,” Bala said.
In another post, Bala said, “Whoever believes religion has been duped – If you cant take blasphemy against Islam, criticizism of its doctrines, this page is not for you. I have not even started ooo.”
His post was greeted with threats of arrest for blasphemy in the comment section. Unrepentant of his stance against Islam, Bala said the threat was from ‘morons’ who should know better.
Days later, a group of lawyers petitioned the Kano State Police command to prosecute Bala for insulting Prophet Muhammad.
Bala is not new to issues around blasphemy by government and private citizens. In June 2014, he was held at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital by government officials who claimed he was a psychiatric patient against his wish.
In a post on International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) website said he was detained at the hospital on the grounds of a “personality change” because he had become an atheist despite being raised in a Muslim family.