Blasphemy: Court officials delay Yahaya Sharif-Aminu’s appeal

Attempts on Tuesday by singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to appeal the death sentence given to him was stalled again on Tuesday as officials of the Upper Sharia Court in Kano State refused to make available certified true copies of the judgment.

Mr Sharif-Aminu, 22, was handed the sentence on August 10 for blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

He has until September 9 to appeal the judgment.

For the appeal to be accepted at the Court of Appeal, the convict is expected to personally sign the notice of the appeal, while certified copies of the original judgment will be attached to it.

It was learnt that the singer had been denied access to his lawyers.

Human rights lawyer Femi Falana told PUNCH that things need to move quickly since Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje indicated he would sign the convict’s death warrant once the time for the appeal lapsed.

“They have not released the judgment and time is running out. And if we cannot obtain copies of the judgment, we cannot appeal. They have just been saying the judgment is not ready and the days are counting,” Mr Falana said.

Sharif-Aminu was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March.

His house was burnt down by irate youths who led a protest to the Sharia Police, Hisbah, demanding his arrest.

The death sentence has been condemned by many rights organisations including Amnesty International.