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Blasphemy: Kano High Court reserves judgement on appeal by Sharif over death sentence

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A KANO State High Court has reserved judgment in an appeal brought by Yahya Aminu Sharif, a Kano musician sentenced to death by an Upper Shari’a Court for blasphemy.

Aminu was handed a death sentence in August this year after he was found guilty of blasphemy for making a song that purportedly insulted Prophet Mohammed.

According to the African Independent Television (AIT), the two-man panel led by Nura Sagir, the chief judge of Kano state and Nasiru Saminu after listening to arguments by the counsels told them that a day for the judgment will be communicated.

Kola Alapinni, who represented Aminu, told the court that his notice of appeal filed on 5th November 2020 and briefs of argument filed on 14/10/2020 were pursuant to sections 36 and 38 of the constitution.

The court also reserved judgment for bail application and appeal by 13-year-old Omar Faruk sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for complicity in the offense committed by Aminu.

Alapini argued that the judgement which rested on the Sharia Islamic legal code is unconstitutional, null and void, insisting that Nigeria is a secular and multi-religious country.

He therefore urged the court to set aside the judgement of the Upper Shari’a Court.

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Aisha Mahmud, counsel for the respondents, while defending the judgement urged the court to dismiss the appeal.

The Shari’a court judgement had attracted widespread criticism and condemnation from Nigerians and civil society organisations.

While the outcries persisted in August, Abdullahi Ganduje, the Governor of  Kano State said the State Government had accepted the death penalty and would not waste time to sign the verdict in 30 days.

The Supreme Council for Shari’a in Nigeria also urged the Kano State Government in September to ensure the execution of the verdict.

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