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 claimed Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, 22, was guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he circulated on WhatsApp in March.
Mr Sharif-Aminu did not deny the charges. Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said he could appeal against the sentence. States across Muslim-majority northern Nigeria use Sharia law, which does not apply to non-Muslims and secular law.
The singer who is still in detention, had gone into hiding after composing the song. Protesters had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, or the Hisbah, to demand action against him.
Critics said the song was blasphemous because it praised an imam from the Tijaniya Muslim brotherhood so much so that it elevated him above the Prophet Muhammad.
The leader of the protesters who called for the musician’s arrest in March, Idris Ibrahim, said that “the judgment will serve as a warning to others “contemplating toeing Yahaya’s path.” “When I heard about the judgment I was so happy because it showed our protest wasn’t in vain.
The sentence has not been executed as a death penalty in Nigeria requires the sign-off of the state governor.
Mr Inyass is still in detention.