Kano-born atheist, Mubarak Bala, was on Tuesday sentenced to 24 years in prison for blasphemy.
A Kano High Court handed down the sentence after he pleaded guilty to an 18-count charge filed against him.
Bala, who was the president of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, got arrested at his home in Kaduna on April 28, 2020 and was taken to Kano, following a viral Facebook post in which he had stated things against the Islamic faith, consequently sparking outrage.
Bala, who had been controversial on social media, especially Facebook, since after he declared leaving Islam and professing atheism, had made posts against Islam, Muslim and Prophet Muhammad.
He had at a point in 2014, when he first began professing atheism, been committed to a psychiatric institution in Kano, after his family thought he was mentally unwell.
Since the news of his sentence broke, Nigerians from both South and North, have been expressing what they feel of the judgement.
One Twitter user challenged how a person who had renounced his faith could be tried in court by the same laws of that religion.
“Who tried him? Under what law? Trying someone using religion he doesn’t practice? With this, one day a Christian will be tried using Shariah law for blasphemy,” tweeted @Luter_O
Another thought that being an atheist was too trivial an issue to lead to imprisonment.
@AlexanderKing… : “Really? Did he do anything asides not believing in God?”
@Omosalewa: “Na here we go see una (sic). Terrorists have been killing your religious fanatics for years, una no talk!(sic) Sick people.”
@Visualcash: “How can an atheist be punished for blasphemy? Dude was punished for transgression that shouldn’t apply to him. I mean a Muslim can’t be punished for saying Jesus isn’t the Son of God. But then, this is a total useless country…”