Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, was arrested from his home in Kaduna State, northern Nigeria, on 28 April 2020 in connection with a series of Facebook posts that some deemed to be “blasphemous” and likely to cause a public disturbance.
Bala’s case has been subject to a series of procedural irregularities that have hindered his right to a fair trial. They include:
- Being presented in court for the first time 644 days after his arrest;
- Being denied access to medical care;
- Being held without charge for 462 days;
- Being denied access to his legal team for more than five months;
- Court hearings have been subjected to repeated adjournments;
- The Kano State Police Commissioner repeatedly refused to comply with an order issued by a Magistrate requiring the police to grant Bala access to his legal team;
- The Kano State authorities have failed to comply with a ruling of the Abuja High Court that determined that Bala should be released on bail.