Court frustrating Sharif-Aminu's appeal over death sentence

Sharif Aminu is on the verge of being killed if he fails to succeed with his appeal against Blasphemy
Tochi Juliet

Upper Sharia Court in Kano State is frustrating Yahaya Sharif-Aminu's move to appeal for the death sentence given to him for blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is a musician in Kano state and a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, who was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.

Irate youths burnt down his family home and led a protest to the Sharia Police, Hisbah, demanding Sharif Aminu’s death.

Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death on August 10, 2020, was given 30 days by the court to appeal the judgment, meaning that the time would lapse on Wednesday, September 9.

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

However, Sharif-Aminu has so far, been denied access to his lawyers while Sharia court officials have also failed to provide copies of the judgment.

According to Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) who spoke to Punch Newspaper, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu has continued to make efforts to get the judgment.

He said there was a need for things to move quickly since Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had said last week that 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.”

Some human rights activists in Kano told journalists that many lawyers had refused to take up Sharif-Aminu’s case because of the volatile nature of the state.

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