Amnesty International, has condemned the death sentence passed on a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, by a Sharia Court in Kano State for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed in a song circulated on Whatsapp.
The group called on the governor of Kano State Abdullahi Ganduje to immediately quash the conviction.
In a statement signed by the group’said spokesman Isa Sanusi on Thursday it described the conviction as a travesty of justice, adding that from all indication, the musician did not get a fair hearing.
The statement read, “The authorities of Kano State of Nigeria must immediately quash the conviction and death sentence of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death by hanging on spurious charges of blasphemy by the Kano Upper Shari’a Court.”
“This is a travesty of justice. There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial; and the framing of the charges against him based on his music. Furthermore, the imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial violates the right to life.
“Yahaya Sharif-Aminu must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International Nigeria country director.
“Sharia law, which is practiced in many states in northern Nigeria provides for the death penalty for blasphemy.
“However, this violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which restricts the use of the death penalty to crimes like intentional killing, according to international law,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International Nigeria Country Director.
Earlier, an Upper Shari’a Court sitting at Hausawa Filin Hockey, Kano State sentenced 22-year-old Yahaya Sharif to death by hanging.
The judge, Aliyu Kani, gave the verdict after finding Mr Sharif guilty as charged.
He was convicted based on Section 382 (b) of Kano penal code of 2000.
Mr Sharif, a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against the prophet of Islam in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.