Nigeria: Blasphemy - No Muslim Lawyer Should Defend Convicted Kano Singer, Says Cleric

7 September 2020

The Chairman of the Sokoto State Ulama Forum of Izala, Abubakar Usman Mabera, has said any Muslim lawyer who defends the musician sentenced to death in Kano State, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, has renounced Islam.

Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by hanging on August 10 after he was found guilty of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.

TheCable had reported how the development stirred an outcry among many Nigerians.

Despite the public outcry, the Supreme Council for Shari'ah in Nigeria asked Kano state government to execute the court judgment.

In response, the Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, said he would not hesitate to sign Sharif-Aminu's death warrant if he failed to file an appeal within 30 days.

The convict has however appealed against the court's decision.

Mabera, while speaking in Sokoto at the weekend, said blasphemy is a capital offence in Islam of which punishment is death, and that since a competent court has found the singer guilty, he cannot be pardoned.

He asked Muslim lawyers to be careful in defending the convict, adding that "any lawyer who comes out to defend him has renounced his Islamic faith".

The cleric also asked the Muslim faithful to seek God's forgiveness because the prevailing setbacks in the country are signs of wrongdoing.

"For all indications, God is not happy with us and we have to repent because he alone is the answer to our woes," he said.

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