Mustapha Gambo Muhammad
Kano State High Court Appeal Division has ordered the retrial of Yahaya Aminu case who was sentenced to death by an Upper Sharia Court Presided by Aliyu Muhammad Kani over a blasphemous statement against Islamic.
Solacebase reports that in a unanimous decision by 2 man panel of Judges, Kano Chief Judge, Justice Nuraddeen Sagir and Justice Nasiru Saminu upheld that the lower court has failed to provide a legal representation to the convict despite the existing framework for Legal Aid Council in Kano State.
The court also said the offence was charged under section 382 (b) of Kano Penal code law of 2000 which is capital in nature explaining that section 269 of Administration of Criminal Justice Law of the State 2007 provides that ” Any person standing trial on capital offence shall be entitled to legal representation”
The judges said Yahaya sheriff Aminu was sentenced to death by hanging without according him a fair hearing to defend himself.
The court ordered a retrial of the case at another upper Sharia, court saying there were irregularities in the conduct of the trial.
Commenting on the argument canvassed by the counsel to the appellant as the ground of Appeal, that the Penal Sharia Code law 2000 of Kano State or any Penal Shari’a Code Law in Nigeria has no constitutional foundation since it is a law with the sole aim of advancing and placating Islamic religious interests and is apparently opened to Political and class manipulation of citizens, the court upheld that Kano State Sharia Penal Code law 2000 was established by Kano state house of Assembly and views and wishes of Kano State people, were sampled, consequently, the court affirmed the validity of the law.
The Court of Appeal Similarly discharged and acquit Umar Faruk sentenced to 10 years in Correctional Facility for committing blasphemy.
The court upheld that the lower court presided by Aliyu Muhammad Kani did not take cognizance of the age of Faruk who was a minor at the time he committed the offence.
He was discharged and acquitted
Reacting to the judgement, Kano State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Barrister Musa Abdullahi Lawan said he will study the judgement before taking the next line of action.
The attorney general also expressed joy as the judgement affirmed the legality of Kano State Sharia Penal Code law 2000.
Also speaking counsel to Sheriff and Faruk, Ola Alapini expressed happiness over the judgement he pointed out that Yahaya Sheriff will be guided legally before a lower court.