A Kano State High Court (Appeal Division) sitting in Kano, North-West Nigeria, has set aside the death sentence imposed on a Kano-based singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu.
Delivering judgement on Thursday, the state’s Chief Judge, Nuraddeen Sagir, who presided over the case, said the trial that led to Aminu’s conviction was full of irregularities as the appellant was not given legal representation.
He noted that the judgement of an upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of Kano contravened section 2-6-9 of the administration of criminal justice act.
Sagir, therefore, ordered that the case be retried at the same court and that the appellant should be given fair hearing.
The judge also ordered that the appellant, who should be tried by another judge, should get full legal representation.
The Sharia Court had convicted Sharif-Aminu for blasphemy on August 10, 2020.
The 22-year-old was accused of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.
Protesters had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, better known as Hisbah, demanding action against him.
According to the BBC, 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.
After Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death by hanging, Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said he would not waste time in signing his death warrant.
12 states across northern Nigeria use both secular law and Sharia law, which does not apply to non-Muslims.