Nigeria: Blasphemy - Kano Court Hears Appeal Against Death Sentence

26 November 2020

The court also entertains an appeal against the 10-year imprisonment of 17-year-old Umar Farouq.

The Kano State High Court on Thursday commenced hearing into the appeal against the death sentence passed on Aminu Yahaya Sharif by a Shari'ah court sitting in Filin Hockey area of the state.

The court also entertained an appeal against the 10-year imprisonment of 17-year-old Umar Farouq, also convicted for blasphemy.

The two men, through their lead counsel, Kola Alanipinni, had filed an appeal before the Kano State High Court challenging the Shariah court judgement.

Joined in the suit is the Kano State government and the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kano State.

At Thursday's sitting, counsel to appellants, Mr Alanipinni, and that of respondents, Aisha Mahmud, adopted their briefs filed before the court.

Mr Alapinni appealed to the court to quash the judgement by the Shariah Court and declare it unconstitutional, null and void. He said the duo have rights to freedom of expression and religion.

However, Ms Mahmud urged the court to dismiss the appeal filed by the appellants.

The panel presided over by the Chief Judge, Nura Sagir, however, reserved a day for judgement which he said will be communicated to both parties.

Mr Sharif, a resident of Sharifai quarters in Kano metropolis is accused of committing the crime of blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

The Kano Shari'ah court on August 10 sentenced Mr Sharif to death by hanging for blaspheming the Prophet of Islam.

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