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Nigerian Singer Sentenced To Death Appeals Conviction At Supreme Court, Wants Blasphemy Declared Unconstitutional

Posted by Samuel on Thu 10th Nov, 2022 -

This was seen in court documents filed by his counsel, Kola Alapinni Esq, which were obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday.


A Nigerian musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death by hanging in 2020 after being convicted of blasphemy, has apperaled the case.

He approached the Supreme Court of Nigeria to challenge his conviction.

This was seen in court documents filed by his counsel, Kola Alapinni Esq, which were obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday.

According to the documents, Sharif-Aminu is asking the apex court to declare that the offence of blasphemy is not recognised in Nigerian law.

SaharaReporters exclusively learnt on Wednesday that the governor of Kano, Abdullahi Ganduje and the state Attorney General, Musa Abdullahi Lawan had just been served court papers with regard to the appeal.

The death sentence was passed on Sharif-Aminu by a Sharia court, which a high court overturned. It, however, denied the musician bail and ordered his re-trial before another Sharia court judge due to irregularities in the original trial.

The musician approached the appeal court to overturn the order for his retrial for blasphemy. His lawyer argued that he ought to be removed from detention.

But the appellate court did not rule in his favour.

Sharif-Aminu’s notice of appeal to the apex court reads, “Take Notice that the Appellant being dissatisfied with the decision more particularly stated in paragraph 2, of the Court of Appeal, Kano Division holden at Kano, Kano State contained in the judgment dated 31/08/2022 doth hereby appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria upon the grounds set out in paragraph 3 and will at the hearing of the appeal seek the relief set out in paragraph 4.

“And the Appellant states that the names and addresses of the persons directly affected by the appeal are those set out in paragraph 5.”

The Appellant noted that the part of the decision of the lower court complained of is “the whole” decision.

He is seeking an order “allowing the appeal, setting aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal and entering judgment in favour of the Appellant”.

Sharif-Aminu is also seeking “an order declaring S.382(b) of the Sharia Penal Code Law of Kano State 2000 being in conflict and incompatible with S.34(1)(a), S.38(1), S.39(1), and other provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Articles 5, 8, and 9, among others, of the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and Articles 7, 18, and 19, among others, of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, as well as an order declaring other sections of the Sharia Penal Code, including SS: 94 (1) (b); 97 (a-j); 99; 115 (1) (2); 116(2): 117; 118 (2): 123; 125 (e-b), 126 (e) (2): 127 (a-b); 129 (a b): 131; 134: 134(b): 135(2): 136; 137: 140 (b); 141 (b): 146 (a): 148; 163 (c): 169: 150; 154; 155; 157; 162; 163 (c); 169: 170; 174 (3); 175-178; 186; 187; 189; 191-194; 196; 197; 199; 200; 208-211; 216-221; 223-227; 237; 246 (a); 260 (a-b); 264; 268; 273; 276 (c), (i); 277 (c); 280 (b): 281-284 (c); 285-287 (b); 290; 291 (b); 292; 293 (d) (-i): 294 (a-b): 295 (a): 296 (a); a-b): 295 (a): 296 (a); 297 (a-b); 298 (b); 299 (a-b) 300-308; 309 (a-b); 310-312; 315 (1-2): 316 (1): 317; 323; 324 (a); 325;-328; 329 (a-b); 330-332; 335 (b); 336 (b); 337 (b); 338 (b): 339 (b); 340; 342 (c); 344 (c); 345 (c): 346 (c): 347 (b): 348 (b); 349 (b); 352 (a): 353; 356; 358; 360-362; 368; 369 (b); 373; 376; 377(e); 385; 387 (b); 388 (1) as being similarly incompatible with the Constitution and international treaties.”

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