Muhammad Kabir Kano
The Kano branch of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), on Saturday explained why a 22-year-old singer, Yahaya Aminu Sharif convicted for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (SAW) must die, saying the verdict is being backed by a previous Supreme Court judgment.
The lawyers argued that the Judge of the Upper Shariah Court Hausawa, who passed the verdict, was right in his judgment without prejudice to the right of appeal.
“This is because the Supreme Court has decided in the case of Abubakar Shalla vs State (2007) 12 MJSC at page 52-53 paragraph G-B that the position of the Law under Shariah is that any sane and adult Muslims, who insult, defame, or utter words or acts which are capable of bringing into disrepute, odium, contempt of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him); such a person has committed a serious crime which is punishable by death’.
A signed statement by Muhammad Sani Garba Esq, Chairman of the body that was made available to Our Correspondent on Saturday, stated that for people who do not follow the Islamic faith: “We remind them that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has guaranteed Nigerians to practice and observe the religion of their choice and be bound by its Laws and principles.”
The strongly worded state- ment further declared that the general public should understand that Shariah is a Muslim Law applicable only to Muslims. The lawyers’ position swelled the rank and file of influential stakeholders in a conservative city 15 million people that have thrown their weight behind last week’s death verdict.
The MULAN statement reads: “The attention of Muslim Lawyers’ Association (MULAN) has been drawn to a criminal case C.O.P. Vs Shariff Yahaya Sharifai No. CR/43/2020 decided on 10th August, 2020 by the Upper Shariah Court sitting at Hausawa in Kano State where the accused person was charged, tried and convicted for the offence of blasphemy against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
“The case has attracted a lot of discussion from within and outside the state. Even among our learned colleagues some have support the decision while others oppose it.
“However, having examined the proceedings of the case, MULAN notes that the offence under which the convict was charged is an offence known by the Kano State Shariah Penal Code and provided in section 382(B). We equally noted that the convict has boldly confessed to his offence during the trial the details of which is contained in a WhatsApp group known as “Gidan Umma Amina” and transmitted into writing, (the certified true copy of the transcribed text was tendered and admitted during trial).
“That the general public should understand that Shariah is a Muslim Law applicable only to Muslims. Therefore any person, who accepts to be a Muslim, must obey the provisions of Shariah irrespective of whether or not it pleases him. For people who don’t follow the Islamic faith we remind them that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has guaranteed Nigerians to practice and observe the religion of their choice and be bound by its laws and principles.”
The lawyers urged Islamic scholars to counsel their followers properly in seeking proper Islamic knowledge and always ensure peace and stability in the society.