NBA wades into Kano singer’s death sentence
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has pledged to monitor the appeal filed by Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy by an upper Sharia Court in Kano State.
The 22-year-old singer was sentenced to death by hanging on August 11, 2020 on charges of blasphemy.
Sharif-Aminu had reportedly circulated a song on WhatsApp in March, prompting angry demonstrators to burn down his family house.
Following intervention by some human rights lawyers, the convict was able to file an appeal a few days to the end of his appeal window.
According to a statement signed by the publicity secretary of NBA, Dr. Rapuluchukwu Nduka, the association will monitor proceedings in the matter.
He explained that Kola Alapini had informed the NBA that an appeal had been filed on behalf of the convict, challenging the verdict.
“The said Appeal No. K/37CA/2020 was filed on September 3, 2020 and duly served on the Attorney General of Kano State. It has been confirmed that the Attorney General has since received the said notice of appeal,” Nduka said.
Governor of Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano had stated that he would not hesitate in signing the warrant of execution in respect of the judgment of the Upper Sharia Court, if there is no appeal against the said judgment.
“It is expected that the execution of the judgment and the signing of the warrant of execution will be stayed in order to allow Sharif-Aminu exhaust his constitutional right of appeal.
“The NBA reiterates that every accused person is entitled to the requisite opportunity to exercise his constitutional right of appeal and his right to be represented by a lawyer of his choice. The NBA shall keenly monitor the process,” Nduka stated.
The NBA had gone for a fact-finding mission to the Federal Correctional Centre, Kano, on September 2, 2020, where the team confirmed that Sharif-Aminu had been denied access to lawyers and so was unable to take steps in appealing the death sentence by an Upper Sharia Court.
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