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Absence of appellant stalls hearing on blasphemy case


The hearing of an appeal filed against the death sentence on Sheriff Yahaya, a popular artist in Kano, failed to continue at the Kano State High Court yesterday following the absence of the appellant.
An Upper Shari’a Court led by Khadi Aliyu Mohammad Kani had, on August 10, 2020, convicted Sheriff on a one-count charge of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammad and sentenced him to death by hanging.

When the matter came up for hearing before Justice Nuradeen Sagir, the appellant, who was conspicuously absent at the court, however, sent a representative.
Standing on behalf of the appellant, Zubairu Suleiman Usman, explained that the lead counsel in the matter could not make it because he was served with late notice.
Zubairu, however, sought for grace to adjourn the matter to a later date to enable the appellant, who was hindered by the civil unrest in Lagos, to properly prepare for the matter.
The second respondent, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Musa Abdullahi Lawan, did not oppose the request of the appellant.
The AG, who also stands for the first respondent, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, however, pledged to file an application before the court to enable it to serve the appellant through substituted means (courier) in good time to enable them to go through the processes and respond before the next hearing.
The judge, who is also the Chief Judge of Kano State, Justice Nuraddeen Sagir, granted the request and adjourned the case till November 26, 2020.
In a notice of appeal filed by Mr Kola Alanipini of Highbridge Chambers, dated September 3, 2020, the appellant is challenging Kano Governor and the state Attorney-General on Sheriff’s death sentence.
The appellant is seeking the relief of the court to set aside the trial and sentencing handed down by the upper Shari’a court.


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