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By Isaac Newton Tetteh – GITFIConline.com
A Nigerian Singer Yahaya Sharif-Aminu has been sentenced to death by hanging for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammadin Kano state Northern Nigeria.
An upper Sharia court in the Hausawa Filin Hockey area of the Kano state found Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, aged 22 guilty of committing blasphemy by composing and circulating a song via WhatsApp in March a claim Mr. Sharif-Aminu did not deny before the court
The court presided over by Mr. Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said the accused person could appeal against the verdict.
States across Muslim-majority northern Nigeria use both secular law and Sharia law, which does not apply to non-Muslims.
Only one of the death sentences passed by Nigeria’s Sharia courts has been carried out since they were reintroduced in 1999.
The singer who is currently in detention, had gone into hiding after he composed the song.
Protesters had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the Hisbah, demanding action against him.
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.
The leader of the protesters that called for the musician’s arrest in March, Idris Ibrahim, told the BBC that the judgement 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.
“This judgment will serve as a deterrent to others who feel they could insult our religion or prophet and go scot-free,” he said.
Few people had heard of Yahaya Sharif-Aminu before his arrest in March.
He was an Islamic gospel musician, he is however, not well-known in Northern Nigeria and his songs were not popular outside his Tjjaniya sect, who have many such musicians within their ranks.