The Global rights group, Amnesty International, has called on the Abdullahi Ganduje-led government to immediately quash the conviction.
The group condemned the death sentence handed down to a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, by a Sharia Court in Kano State for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.
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The rights group said this on Thursday in a statement signed by its spokesman, Isa Sanusi and titled, ‘Authorities must quash the conviction and death sentence imposed on Kano-based singer’.
The statement read in part, “The authorities of Kano State of Nigeria must immediately quash the conviction and death sentence of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death by hanging on spurious charges of blasphemy by the Kano Upper Shari’a Court.”
“This is a travesty of justice. There are serious concerns about the fairness of his trial; and the framing of the charges against him based on his music. Furthermore, the imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial violates the right to life.
“Yahaya Sharif-Aminu must be released immediately and unconditionally,” said Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International Nigeria country director.
Sharif-Aminu was arrested in March after protesters burnt down his family home and led a protest to the Kano Hisbah command’s headquarters demanding the musician’s arrest and prosecution.
Sharia law, which is practiced in many states in northern Nigeria provides for the death penalty for blasphemy.
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Amnesty International, however, said this violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which restricts the use of the death penalty to crimes like intentional killing.
The group said it would continue to oppose the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.