Friday, September 4, 2020

Kano musician appeals death sentence; sues Ganduje

Yahaya Shariff-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed, has filed a notice of appeal.

Shariff-Aminu was sentenced to death by an Upper Sharia Court on August 10, 2020.

He was given 30 days to file an appeal and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje expressed readiness to sign his death warrant once timeline lapses.

However, in the notice of appeal marked CR/43/2020 and filed by his lawyer, Kola Alapinni, before a Kano State High Court, the convict sued the Attorney-General of the state and Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

He based his appeal on one ground which is that Sharia law which formed the basis of his conviction was illegal and unconstitutional.

It read in part, “The appellant’s trial, conviction, and sentencing by the Upper Sharia Court of Kano State pursuant to the Kano State Penal Code Law 2000 were unconstitutional, null, void having grossly violated and conflicted with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended and having violated the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights respectively.

“The Penal Sharia Code Law is only applicable and permissible in Islamic theocracies or countries whose constitution allows for such whereas Nigeria is a secular state with constitutional democracy and the constitution being the supreme law.”

The convict said the state was quick to charge and convict.

He noted that he was denied legal representation even though there is an existing framework for legal aid in Kano State.

The musician, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the trial, conviction, and sentencing handed down by the Sharia Court and entering a judgment in his favour.