Appeal Court orders retrial of Kano singer Sharif-Aminu sentenced to death for blasphemy

The Court of Appeal in Kano has ordered that Kano Singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy be retried, effectively upholding a lower court’s judgement.

Sharif-Aminu, a resident of Sharifai in Kano, was arrested and arraigned before Upper Shari’a Court for committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song he circulated via social media in 2020.

He was charged under section 382 (B) of Shari’a Penal Code Law of Kano 2000 and consequently convicted to death.

Sharif-Aminu appealed the court’s decision, asking the Kano State High Court to quash the charge but the court ordered retrial.

Sharif-Aminu again filed an appeal before Appeal Court, Kano Division.

After perusal of the submissions and legal arguments of both appellant and defendant on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal affirmed the decision of the Kano State High Court.

Similarly, the court upheld the legality of Shari’a Penal Code Law, 2000.

It was also recognised as a capital offense punishable with death under Kano State Shari’a Code Law 2000.

The three-man panel of justices that passed the judgement include Justice I G Mbaba, Justice B M Ugo and Justice Abubakar Muaz Lamido.

It was gathered that Justice Mbaba dissented with the majority while Justices Ugo and Lamido upheld the judgement of the Kano State High Court and consequently ordered for retrial.