Blasphemy: Kano Artist Sharif-Aminu Appeals Retrial Order
Blasphemy: Kano Artist Sharif-Aminu Appeals Retrial Order
Blasphemy: Kano Artist Sharif-Aminu Appeals Retrial Order
A Kano State musician, Yahaya Shariff-Aminu, whose death sentence was set aside by the Kano State High Court has filed a notice of appeal challenging the order for his retrial

ASKLEGALPALACE recalls that the 22-year old musician was sentenced to death by the Upper Sharia Court of Kano State for blaspheming Prophet Mohammed.

However, in a judgement delivered by the appellate division of the High Court of Kano State on January 21, the death sentence was quashed. The High Court cited irregularities in the Sharia Court’s previous trial and ordered that Mr Aminu-Sharif be tried afresh by the same court.

Miffed by the decision of the appellate High Court, Sheriff, through his lawyer, Kola Alapinni, has in a Notice of Appeal argued that “The learned judges misdirected themselves in law when they annulled the judgment of the trial court and then ordered for a retrial at the shari’a court in Hauswa-Filin Hockey instead of granting the defendant a discharge and an acquittal,” adding that under the Nigerian criminal law system, “the defendant is entitled to a discharge and an acquittal” where “the prosecution fails to prove his case beyond reasonable doubt.”

Furthermore, Alapinni said, “An accused persons can only be tried and punished once for a given offence established by law.

“It amounts to double jeopardy and a miscarriage of justice to allow for a multiplicity of trial for the same offence.”

In the second ground of Appeal, Alapinni argued that Shariah law upon which the Appellant was convicted is inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution. According to him, the constitution prohibits adoption of any religion as state religion

“The constitutional principle of separation between government and religion enshrined at section 10 and 38 of the Constitution prohibits government from adopting religion or making laws restricting religious freedoms and prohibits government from making laws to advance or promote any religious interest.

“The offence of blasphemy is inconsistent with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by virtue of section 10 standing alone or in conjunction with section 38 of the Constitution, respectively.

“The Penal Sharia Code Law 2000 of Kano State or any Penal Sharia Code Law in Nigeria is inconsistent with section 10 and section 38 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Section 1(3) of the Constitution states that, ‘If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this Constitution, this Constitution shall prevail and other law shall to the extent of the inconsistent be void.” Alapinni argued

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