updated 9/16/2008 8:57:24 AM ET 2008-09-16T12:57:24

Police in northern Nigeria have arrested a Muslim preacher who has 86 wives and 107 children for breaking Islamic marriage laws.

Niger state police spokesman Richard Oguche says Mohammed Bello Masaba, 84, was detained Monday.

It was unclear when he would appear in court, or what the potential punishment could be. Muslim principles forbid men from taking more than four wives.

Almost half of Nigeria's 140 million people are Muslim and Niger is one of twelve states in the country where Islamic Sharia law holds sway.

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