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Muslim lawyers back death penalty for blasphemy in Kano

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The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Kano State Chapter has thrown its weight behind the conviction of Shariff Yahaya Sharifai by the Upper Shariah Court in Kano where the accused was sentenced to death for blasphemy.

Reacting to public condemnation of the judgment in a statement issued by the body and signed by its Chairman, Muhammad Sani Garba on Friday, insisted that the trial was carried out in line with the Kano State Shariah penal code without prejudice, hence, there was no need for any public criticism of the outcome.

The 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.).

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“The case has attracted a lot of discussion from within and outside the state. Even among our learned colleagues some have support for the decision while others oppose it.

“However, having examined the proceedings of the case, MULAN note 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).

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“That the honourable Judge of Upper Shariah Court Hausawa was right in his Judgment in which he convicted and sentenced the accused to death for blasphemy against the holy prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) without prejudice to the right of appeal of the convict.

“This is because the supreme court has decided in the case of Abubakar Shalla Vskit.tv 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 muslim, who insult, defames, or utter words or acts which are capable of bringing into disrepute, opium, contempt of the holy prophet (peace be upon him) such a person has committed a serious crime which is punishable by death.

That the general public should understand that Shariah is a Muslim Law applicable only to Muslims. Therefore any person who accept to be a Muslim must obey the provisions of Shariah irrespective of whether or not it pleases him.

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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.

“That Islamic Scholars are advised to counsel their followers properly in seeking proper Islamic knowledge and always ensure peace and stability in the society.

MULAN urges the Executive arm of Government in Kano State to ensure strict compliance to the judgement as part of its commitment towards proper implementation of Shariah”, the statement concluded.

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