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NBA offers free legal services to Kano musician sentenced to death for blasphemy

THE Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says it will give free legal representation to Yahaya Sharif, a Kano born singer sentenced to death for blasphemy.

According to the African Independent Television (AIT), John Aikpokpo-Martins, first Vice President of the NBA, stated this on Wednesday during a fact finding mission to Kano.

He lamented that Sharif has not been given access to a lawyer of his choice as the window to appeal the judgement draws to an end.

Amnesty International in a statement on Wednesday, also lamented that in an attempt to frustrate his appeal the court has not provided a copy of the judgement that sentenced Sharif to death to lawyers.

“In an attempt to deny Yahaya Shariff Aminu his right to appeal, the Upper Shari’ah Court in Kano has so far not provided lawyers a copy of the judgement. This is a gross violation of his rights. @GovUmarGanduje @KanostateNg @PoliceNG,” Amnesty International said.

The human rights organisation said it was deeply concerned about reports that Sharif has not been granted access to lawyers for the purposes of appealing the death sentence passed on.

“There are seven days left for Yahaya Sharif Aminu to appeal the court judgement of his death sentence and court officials are allegedly denying him access to his lawyers. Prisoners have the right to legal representation,” it said.

The ICIR had reported how Yahaya Sharif, a 22-year-old musician, was sentenced to death by an Upper Sharia Court in Kano, for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

According to the report, Sharif, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song he shared on WhatsApp in March 2020. He was sentenced on 10 August 2020.

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