By Sale Ephraim
The detained super polygamist Alhaji Bello Abubakar Masaba?s 86 wives yesterday staged a noisy protest at the premises Niger State Ministry of Justice and demanded for the immediate release of their embattled husband. Masaba, who has been detained at the Minna Prison since Monday, is standing trial before the Upper Sharia Court, Minna for marrying 86 wives, contrary to the Islamic injunction that limits a man to not more than four.
The women, accompanied by at least 20 of Masaba?s children, raised placards and chanted slogans in solidarity with their husband, who they said committed no crime.
Some of the placards read, ?Our husband is innocent, he is God-sent?, ?What Allah has joined together, let no man put asunder?, ?We are legally married to Baba and we are not complaining. ?
Spokesperson of the Masaba wives Hajiya Hafsat Bello Masaba, who said she was wife number three, said she has been married to Alhaji Bello for over 20 years with four children, adding that the allegations against Masaba were a ploy to bring hardship to a law abiding citizen of Nigeria.
?The judgment at the sharia court is an abuse of justice and the rule of law. If we are not complaining, and our parents are not complaining, what is the sharia commission or the Etsu Nupe to complain for us??
She added, ?We are happy living together. Some of the men persecuting Baba today have only two wives, yet their homes are not stable. Baba has 86 wives and has been able to sustain a peaceful home. They are simply jealous of his achievements. They should thank Allah that somebody like Baba lives in their midst. If not somebody sent by God, do they think it is easy keeping 86 women in one house without fight? Baba does not believe in adultery like many of those fighting him. You can see we are not hungry, Baba is really taking good care of us, what is Etsu Nupe?s concern in the matter?? Hajiya Hafsat said.
No official of the ministry attended to the protesting women. The state Acting Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Barrister Ndagi Usman Wali said it would be prejudicial for him to comment or make statement on a matter already in court. The women, led by one of the sons, Maroof, arrived the ministry in three different vehicles.
Meanwhile, the embattled Alhaji Bello Abubakar Masaba yesterday asked an Abuja Federal High Court to declare that the Sharia Court has no jurisdiction to try him for marrying 86 wives.