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Kano musician sentenced to death for blasphemy

A musician in Kano State has been sentenced to death by hanging for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad.

An Upper Sharia court, in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the state, said Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, was guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp, in March 2020.

Mr. Sharif-Aminu did not deny the charges.

Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said he could appeal against the verdict.

States across Muslim-majority northern Nigeria use both secular law and Sharia law, which does not apply to non-Muslims.

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Only one of the death sentences passed by Nigeria’s Sharia courts has been carried out since they were reintroduced in 1999.

The singer, who is currently in detention, had gone into hiding after he composed the song.

Protesters had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the Hisbah, demanding action against him.

Critics said the song was blasphemous as it praised an imam from the Tijaniya Muslim brotherhood to the extent it elevated him above the Prophet Muhammad.