Abubakar Usman Mabera, chairman of Sokoto state Ulama forum of Izala, says any Muslim lawyer who defends Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a musician sentenced to death in Kano state, 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.
Despite the public outcry, the Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria asked Kano state government to execute the court judgment.
In response, Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano, 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.
In a statement on Thursday, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said Sharif-Aminu was not represented by a lawyer during the trial at the Upper Sharia Court and that he has been denied access to any lawyer since his conviction.