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Kano court orders retrial of musician sentenced to death for blasphemy

...frees 13-year-old Farouq jailed for 10 years


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THE appeal division of the Kano State High Court has ordered a retrial of Aminu Yahaya Sharif, a 32-year-old musician  sentenced to death for blasphemy.

It also freed 13-year-old Umar Farouq jailed for 10 years for allegedly committing the same offence. 

Nuraddeen Sagir, state chief judge, who presided over the two-man panel that delivered the judgement on Thursday, said the lower court’s judgement was full of irregularities.

The judge, who ordered that the retrial be presided over by another judge, directed that the accused be given a fair hearing by ensuring that he got full legal representation.

Sagir said the judgement of an upper Sharia court contravened sections 2, 6 and 9 of the administration of Criminal Justice Act.

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

Aminu was handed a death sentence in August, 2020, by an Upper Shari’a Court after was found guilty of blasphemy for making a song that purportedly insulted Prophet Mohammed.

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, 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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