Kano singer sentenced for blasphemy filed appeal

The embattled Kano-based singer, Sharifa-Aminu Yahaya, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy has filed an appeal against his conviction.

Yahaya who was sentenced to death by hanging in the Kano State Upper Sharia Law has filed an appeal challenging the judgement of the Court.

The singer in his suit filed at the Kano State high Court in Thursday through his counsel, Kola Alapinni, is pleading the court to dismiss the judgment of the upper Sharia Court of Kano.

The Sharia court had sentenced him to death by hanging on August 10, having found him guilty of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song.

But in the appeal, Alapinni contended that the appellant’s trial, conviction and sentencing by the Upper Sharia Court, pursuant to Kano State Penal Code Law 2000 were unconstitutional, null and void, having grossly violated and conflicted with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right and Universal Declaration of Human Rights respectively.

He contended that the offence of blasphemy for which Sharif-Aminu was convicted is no longer a cognizable offence in Nigeria by virtue of section 10, standing alone or in conjunction with section 38 and 39 of the constitution respectively.

He maintained that a capital offence seeking to terminate human life must comply strictly especially with the right to life provisions of Constitution of Nigeria.

He averred that the confessional statement and the plea of the applicant in the court below is a nullity and legally irrelevant in the absence of a valid law criminalizing the appellant’s alleged criminal conduct.

He maintained that a Penal Sharia Code law is only applicable and permissible in Islamic theocracies or countries whose constitution allows for such laws, whereas Nigeria is a secular state with constitutional democracy and the constitution being the supreme law.

Meanwhile, activist lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has clarified that contrary to media reports, the Upper Sharia Court of Kano has not furnished his law firm with a copy of the judgment delivered in the case of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu on August 10.

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He said his representative has been asked by the Registrar of the Court to call again for the judgment.

He said another colleague in the human rights movement, Mr. Kola Alapinni of the Foundation For Religious Freedom filed an appeal at the Kano State High Court on behalf of the convict.

Meanwhile, the August 10th death sentence on the singer led to an outcry of the public who deemed it unjust to make such judgement.

However, the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria sought the assent of the Kano state governor to make the execution of which the governor gave the musician 30 days to file an appeal, otherwise he’ll assent the Sharia Court order.

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