The governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has on Thursday expressed his readiness to sign the death warrant issued against a Kano-based singer, Yahya Aminu-Sharif, over blasphemous song against Prophet Muhammad, PBUH.
Recall that an Upper Shariah Court sitting in the state had convicted Mr. Aminu-Sharif of blasphemy and sentenced him to death by hanging after finding him culpable of the crime.
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In March 2020, the 22-year-old singer had composed a song and shared the same on WhatsApp groups, containing blasphemous lines against the Prophet of Islam, a situation that elicited public outcry.
Speaking after a stakeholder meeting over the issue on Thursday, Mr. Ganduje noted that the convict had been given a 30-day grace to appeal the judgment, adding that failure to do so, he would waste no time in signing the execution order
He added that “in the event, the convict appeal the judgment, we shall wait and follow the case up to the appeal court. If he further appeals to the Supreme Court, we shall follow the case there.
“If the Supreme Court upholds the two lower court judgments, the governor of Kano state will not add one minute to sign the execution order,” Mr. Ganduje stressed.
Mr. Ganduje also lamented the growing incidences of blasphemy in recent times, stressing that the government would not rest on its ores until it contains the situation.
While recalling how the government had made a great effort to calm the city against a possible crisis that might arise in the wake of the case, Mr. Ganduje noted that the government had keenly followed the case up to the Upper Shariah Court in order to ensure justice was done.
Mr. Ganduje also commended security agencies for being up-and-doing to avert possible break down of law and order in the state.
In their respective remarks, the Islamic clerics expressed their support for the governor to sign the warrant, noting that it is the only way forward for any abuse against the prophet.
The clerics urged the governor not to be deterred from the actions of the human right organisations, noting that the Islamic religion had outlined punishment against any person that abuses the Holy Prophet and his family.
One of the clerics, Usman Makwarari, advised that the accused be executed openly in order to serve as a lesson to others.
on his part, Aminu Gadanya, Chairman Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Kano branch, said the association had supported the judgment 100 percent.
According to him, the court that passed the judgment had a jurisdiction to do so, adding, however, that the convict had the judicial right to appeal.
He explained to the governor that he could not sign the death warrant if the accused choose to appeal the judgment until the case reaches to Supreme Court.
Also speaking, Chairman, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, MULAN, Muhammad Sani, stated that the death penalty mated against the convict was the right decision by the court.
According to him, the judge used section 392(b) of the Kano state Penal Code 2000, to deliver his judgment, adding that even the Supreme Court had provided the death penalty to whoever abuses Prophet Muhammad, PBUH.
He explained that even if the convict appeals the verdict, he would not succeed, “because no court could reject the right judgment passed by the Upper Shariah Court” as the verdict is the same.
While expressing support to the judgment, the chairman said the association would follow the case up to Supreme Court.
The Controller Prison Service, Abdullahi Magaji also stated that the convict is in his custody and no lawyer showed up to assist him.
He explained that though the verdict would be the same up to the Supreme Court, the state government must follow the established legal processes before it signs the death warrant.
The meeting was attended by before the state Commissioner of Police, Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Director SSS, Controller Kano Prison Service, Islamic clerics of different sects and lawyers, among