Blasphemy: Kano singer appeals death sentence

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Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, the musician that a Shari’a court in Kano sentenced to death for blasphemy, has filed an appeal.

He was sentenced to death by hanging on August 10, after he was found guilty of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song.

The development had stirred an outcry among many Nigerians.

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

Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, had said he would not waste a minute to sign Sharif-Aminu’s death sentence if he failed to file an appeal within 30 days.

In a suit filed at the Kano state high court on Thursday, Kola Alanipini, Sharif-Aminu’s counsel, asked the court to set the judgement aside.

Earlier on Thursday, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said Sharif-Aminu had been denied access to a lawyer.

Ernest Nduka, NBA national publicity secretary, said the association has constituted a two-man fact-finding committee to visit the singer.

He said the action was initiated by Olumide Akpata, NBA president, in response to allegations on social media by Nigerians and calls by members of the association that the federal correctional centre, Kano, denied Sharif-Aminu access to his lawyers.

The committee comprising John Aikpokpo-Martins, NBA first vice president, and Kunle Edun, its national welfare secretary, was mandated to embark on a fact-finding mission to the correctional centre.

Nduka said the committee visited the correctional centre on Wednesday but were denied access to the singer.

He said the NBA national officers found that the singer was not represented by a lawyer during the trial at the upper Sharia court, adding that Sharif-Aminu has not had access to any lawyer since his conviction.

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