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Sharia court sentences man to death for blasphemy, rape

NEWSMAN, Kano – A Kano state sharia court has sentenced a 22 -year-old musician, Yahaya Sharif to death by hanging for blasphemy, although the musician might appeal the verdict.

Sharif was found guilty of using derogatory expressions against Prophet Mohammed in one of his songs and he had reportedly circulated the song on WhatsApp in March, prompting angry demonstrators to burn down his family house.

Media reports said that it wasn’t immediately clear how the lyrics violated the local blasphemy law and Sharif may appeal the verdict.

The spokesperson for the Kano region justice ministry, Baba-Jibo Ibrahim, said that Sharif had legal representation during the trial that went on for four months. The trial was reportedly held behind closed doors for security reasons.

Sharif is the second person to be handed a death sentence for blasphemy since several states in northern Nigeria reintroduced a stricter version of Sharia in early 2000s.

Many have also had their limbs amputated under the law. Kano is one of the regions in the north where the Islamic law runs parallel to the state and federal justice system.

Similarly, 60 year old, Mati Abdu have also been sentenced to death by stoning by Sharia court for raping a 12-year-old girl.

Abdul, who was arrested in 2019 for raping the girl at Farsa Village in Tsanyawa Local Government area of the Kano state, was found guilty and convicted by Alkali Ibrahim Sarki Yola.

Section 282 of the penal code provides a maximum sentence of 15 years imprisonment for a convicted rapist. Penalty for rape convict under the Shari’a law can also be death by stoning, depending on the situation.

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