Court overturns death sentence on Kano-based singer over blasphemy

The Kano State Division of the Appellate Court has set aside the death sentence passed by a Sharia Court Court in Kano, on a Kano based singer, Aminu Yahaya Sharif, charged with blasphemy.

The Sharia Court in Kano, in August 2020 sentenced Sharif to death by hanging for sharing a blasphemous message on WhatsApp against Prophet Mohammed.

But the two-man panel of the Appeal Court in a judgment on the appeal filed by Sharif, ordered a retrial of the case on the grounds that the whole proceedings at the Sharia court were characterized by irregularities.

In another ruling, the Appellate Court also set aside the judgement and sentencing of Umar Faruk, a 13-year-old boy who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for blasphemy.

Sharif and 13-year-old Omar Farouk were sentenced the same day at the same court.

Reacting to the ruling, Kano State Government through its Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, MA Lawal said the government is glad with the judgements because on one hand it has reaffirmed that Sharia Penal code law has come to stay in the State.

“The appellants had sought to discredit the law but the appeal court has ruled that it is legally here to stay and not in contrary to the constitution of the country,” he said.

According to the Attorney General, Sharif was only discharged because he was not represented, not that the Sharia penal code is unconstitutional.

He however assured that the Govt will go back to the Sharia court for the retrial and get legal representation for Sharif.

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