Nigeria: Blasphemy - Kano Hisbah Board Applauds Death Sentence Passed On Singer

Map of Kano.
12 August 2020

The Commander General of the Kano State Hisbah Board, Sheikh Harun Sani Ibn Sina, has said the board is in support of the judgement of the Upper Sharia Court which sentenced a 22-year-old Sharif Yahaya Aminu Sharifai to death by hanging for blasphemy.

An upper Shari'a Court at Hausawa filin Hockey quarters of Kano metropolis, presided over by Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani, had on Monday sentenced the suspect to death by hanging.

Reacting to the judgement, the Hisbah (Sharia Police) Commander, said: "Hisbah as an organization charged with the responsibility of enforcing Sharia, we are in support of the court verdict because anybody who does what he did deserves to be killed. That is what the law says.

"We were in the forefront of ensuring that the matter was thoroughly investigated to the extent of inviting his father who said he could execute whatever Sharia says on the convict (his son).

"So the judgement was based on Sharia and we are in support of the court verdict."

Sharrif Yahaya, a musician, was found guilty of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his posts on social media.

This didn't go down well with some angry youths who stormed his residence, set it ablaze and demolished the house. The angry youths later staged a peaceful protest at the Kano Hisbah Corps (Shariah Police) to press home their demand for his prosecution.

The First Information Report (FIR) said Yahaya was charged to court for insulting religious creed, contrary to section 382 (6) of Kano State Sharia Penal Code Law 2000.

The charge read: "That you, Sharrif Yahaya, resident of Sharrif quarters, Kano on 28/02/2020 between the hours of 20:00hrs to 23:00hrs with intention to hurt the feelings of Muslim faithful made a post via WhatsApp group named 'Gidan Umma Abiha' some abusive and degrading audio statements... ."

The musician, believed to be a follower of radical section of the Tijjaniyya sect known as Faira, was said to have pleaded guilty to the offence.

Meanwhile, two days after the death sentence was passed, no official reaction has come from the political leadership in the state. This may be because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

Reactions have however continued to trail the judgement across the country with civil society and human rights groups condemning the death sentence on the musician.

There was however jubilation in Kano State on Wednesday over the upper Sharia Court judgement. When contacted for their reactions, some Muslim leaders from Tijjaniyya, Qadriyya, Izalat, among other sects, expressed satisfaction with the judgement by the upper sharia court.

The Islamic sects' leaders, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the judgement of the Upper Sharia Court was right because anybody who did what the musician did deserved to be killed, adding that this is what the law (Sharia) says.

Meanwhile, the convict has within 30 days to appeal the judgment.

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