ABUJA, Sept 15 (Reuters Life!) – A Nigerian Muslim court on Monday detained an 84-yeaR old Islamic preacher with 86 wives after he failed to heed a call by local leaders to divorce all but four of them.
The authorities in central Niger state charged Mohammed Bello with “insulting religious creed” and “unlawful marriages” after local chiefs and Muslim leaders gave him until Sept. 7 to comply with Islamic sharia law, which allows a man to have no more than four wives at a time.
The preacher, who lives with his wives and some 170 children in the town of Bida, pleaded not guilty to the charges at an Upper Sharia Court in the state capital Minna.
Judge Abdul Imam, who rejected Bello’s bail application and ordered that he be remanded in prison to allow police complete their investigation, adjourned the case to Oct. 6.
Bello’s detention came barely a week after he was granted temporary reprieve by a civil court in the Nigerian capital Abuja where he filed a petition against local chiefs and Muslim leaders who threatened to banish him if he failed to divorce 82 of his wives.
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