The appellate division of the Kano State High Court on Thursday quashed the judgment of the Upper Sharia Court which convicted a 22-year-old musician, Yahaya Shariff, for blasphemy in the state.
Recall that the Sharia court sitting at Hausawa Filin Hockey in Kano had sentenced Mr Sherrif to death by hanging for blaspheming against Prophet Muhammad in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.
Disclosing the ruling, Mr Sheriff’s lawyer, Kola Alapinni, told Premium Times through text messages on Thursday that the appellate court ruled that the musician’s earlier trial was fraught with procedural errors warranting a retrial.
According to him, the court, therefore, ordered a retrial of the singer in the Upper Sharia Court.
The lawyer also disclosed that the court has also set aside the 10-year imprisonment judgement passed on a 13-year-old boy, Omar Farouq, who was convicted for blasphemy.
He stated: “On Yahaya Aminu Sharif, the court quashed the conviction.
“But the case has been remitted back to the sharia court for a retrial due to procedural irregularities.”
He, however, stated concerning the young Farouq who got a total acquittal that the High Court ruled that the minor was wrongly convicted.
Mr Alapinni said the court set aside the sentence passed on the boy and declared the entire Upper Sharia Court’s judgment a nullity.
He said: “Omar Farouq Bashir is free! Sentence set aside for lack of legal representation.
“The Sharia court judgment is a nullity. The minor was wrongfully convicted!”
The lawyer, however, stated that “the court holds that the Sharia Penal system is legal.”