Metro & Crime

Blasphemy: Lawyers shun convicted singer’s death sentence appeal

Despite having the opportunity of appealing the death sentence handed down on him by a Kano Upper Sharia Court for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, Aminu Sharif is yet to get any lawyer willing to represent him again.
New Telegraph checks revealed that both Islamic and Christian lawyers based in Kano are shunning the possibility of representing Sharif at the Appeal Court.
Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani, the judge of the Upper Shariah Court, sitting at Hausawa area in the city of the second most populous states in Nigeria, gave the verdict after finding Aminu Sharif guilty as charged.
However, despite the death sentence, the judge had given the convict the right of appeal which would expire after 30 days. But as things stand he is unlikely to enjoy this possible reprieve because he was even unrepresented during the original trial.
Being a purely religious matter and a grave offence committed in the predominantly Muslim state, both Muslim and Christian lawyers did not show interest in representing the singer in court, according to Baba Jibo Ibrahim, Public Relations Officer of the Kano State Judiciary.
“At the moment, nobody has shown up to sponsor the appeal. Even human rights lawyers and groups have not come out to sponsor his appeal. Although, I have heard there is a move for that, but at the moment, there is nothing concrete,” he said.
The singer is believed to be an extreme follower of the Tijjaniya sect and a member of Faidha, a radical group within the sect known for deification of Ibrahim Nyass, a famous Senegalese Islamic scholar.
Blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad is punishable by death under Islamic Shariah law, which the state has been practicing since 2000.
After committing the blasphemy, the 22-year-old fled his family house at Sharifai area in the Kano city after he was chased by an angry mob which subsequently burnt down the house.
The situation prompted the state’s Police Command to launch a manhunt for the singer until they arrested him at his hideout.

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