The travails of the 84-year old man with 86 wives seem to be borne more by outsiders than the people at the centre of the matrimonial show.
Yesterday, over 80 family members of Pa Abubakar Bello Masaba stormed Minna, Niger State capital, in protest against the arrest, arraignment and continued detention of their husband and father.
The home of the Masabas’ was stormed in a Gestapo manner at about 3 am last Monday and the man with 86 wives whisked away to be arraigned at the Minna Upper Sharia Court. He is now in prison custody.
At the Upper Sharia Court presided over by Alhaji Abdulkareem Ibrahim, Masaba was accused of “inciting/insulting contempt of religious creed, instituting un-lawful marriage ceremony without lawful marriage contrary to section 210, 383, and 386 of the Penal Code.”
Family members of Masaba comprising about 50 of the wives among them pregnant and nursing mothers and about 30 of the children arrived the premises of the state ministry of justice along Paiko road, Minna in two buses and several cars at about 10 am yesterday.
The women and children of the detained Pa Masaba were accompanied on the protest visit by some Islamic clerics, chanting Islamic songs, which tended to exonerate their husband and father from any form of criminal act that could warrant his arrest and detention.
They carried placards with inscriptions protesting the continued detention of their breadwinner, the protesting family members told all those who cared to listen that their father had not committed any offence and was not criminal to be put in prison custody.
The inscriptions on some of the placards read: “Don’t render our unborn children fatherless,” “Grave sin, grave sin, tampering with another mans’ family affairs,” “Our children needs their father” and “Sharia Commission, leave our husband and father alone.”
Rights groups have mobilized to defend Masaba, promising to enlist 86 lawyers for the 86 wives.
Meanwhile, Masaba has asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to nullify the death sentence (Fatwa) passed on him by the highest Islamic body in Northern Nigeria, Jamatu Nasril Islam…