Controversial cleric risks blasphemy charge as debate committee recommends legal action
The controversial scholar last weekend lost ground during a public debate organised by the Kano state government to justify his utterances against the foremost disciples of the Prophet and equally clear doubt, being generated through a series of seminaries and publications he authored.
During the one hour fifteen minutes debate, under heavily armed security, between Abduljabbar and four panellists representing Kano Ullama, the man in the eye of the storm failed to respond to all questions bothering on his criticism of the Prophet of Islam and his companions.
In explaining his refusal to present a defense, Abduljabbar argued was due to insufficient time allotted as well as the guideline, which he claimed was not made available to him much earlier before the dialogue.
On the contrary, the Judge of the panel and senior lecturer at Bayero University Kano, Professor Salisu Shehu declared that Abduljabbar failed woefully in answering all the questions put to him.
Professor Shehu declared that Abduljabbar’s argument was not tenable not after he tactically parried all the questions raised; only to seek more time with several excuses.
According to the Judge, “ In the beginning, Abduljabbar cried out for more time around the five minutes given to each panellist to answer questions.
Later, he raised another issue on a particular topic, which he felt should be addressed before jumping to another while in actual fact, he was the one jumping from one topic to another incompletely.”
In a two page communique issued at the end of the debate, the committee emphasised the failure of Abduljabbar to substantiate his claims, urging the state government to take appropriate sanctions, including legal action against him.
Although the embattled Abduljabbar had pleaded for forgiveness, the commissioner for religious affairs in the state, Dr. Mohammad Ahmad Tahir insisted Abduljabbar must face the consequences of his action. Dr. Tahir, who stressed that the report of the outcome of the debate had already being forwarded to the Government for the next line of action, reminded them that Abduljabbar has not offended any human.
Meanwhile, Abduljabbar may be facing an offence of blasphemy in regard to several sections of his publication where he showed contempt and disrespect to the Prophet of Islam and his companions. Section 382 (6) of the Kano State Penal Code Law 2000 as amended borders on offences under which blasphemous charges could be raised.
A Kano based legal practitioner, Barr. Bashir Mohammed insisted that the failure of Abduljabbar to render a reasonable explanation to justify his arguments against the prophet at the debate was blasphemous, which could be charged under the penal code law.
In February 2021, the Kano State government barred Abduljabbar from public lectures and ordered the suspension of all his seminaries on all platforms for allegedly desecrating against the personality of the Holy Prophet (SAW) and sacred companions.