- African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights have been asked to stop Nigeria from executing Kano alleged blasphemer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu
- The call was made in a petition by human rights lawyer Femi Falana
- According to him, the death sentence is against the rights of Sharif-Aminu
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As the world continues to watch Nigeria over the judgement against Kano singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has written the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, The Gambia.
According to Falana who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former president of West African Bar Association (WABA), the commission needs to exercise its mandate under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), pursuant to Order 100(1) of the commission’s Rules of Procedure 2020.
In the petition, Falana wrote:: “I am writing to you on behalf of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to consider this request for provisional measures. The request is submitted with our communication on behalf of Sharif-Aminu convicted and sentenced to death for blasphemy in Kano State of Nigeria.
“Our communication details multiple violations of his rights to life and fair trial guaranteed under ACHPR, and resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted by both the commission and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.
“The petitioner is a Nigerian citizen, who has been found guilty of the offence of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) contrary to section 382 (B) of the Kano State Sharia Penal Code Law 2000 (which carries death sentence) and convicted.
“Despite their obligations under ACHPR and other international treaties to which Nigeria is a state party, the Nigerian authorities continue to violate the fair trial and other rights of the petitioner, and put him at risk of imminent execution. In particular, there are serious, persistent and irreparable violations of the petitioner’s rights to life and fair trial, including to competent and effective legal representation."
On August 10, 2020, the Upper Sharia Court sitting in Kano convicted the singer of blasphemy and sentenced him to death by hanging.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) had taken steps to intervene in the case of Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in Kano state.
The lawyers' association in a statement issued by its publicity secretary, Dr Ernest Nduka, indicated that the NBA president, Olumide Akpata, set up a two-man fact-finding committee to look into the matter, Channels TV reports.
The committee was mandated to visit the Federal Correctional Centre in Kano to find out the circumstances surrounding the reported refusal of the authorities to allow lawyers access to the convict.
Legit.ng had also reported that the death penalty issued against Sharif Aminu was backed by the Ulama and non-government organisations (NGOs) in Kano.
The group, under the auspices of Coalition of Ulama and NGOs in Kano , in a statement issued by its chairman, Professor Musa Muhammad Borodo, said the prompt arrest and prosecution of the suspect saved the situation.
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