A Sharia court in Kano State, Nigeria on Monday said it found a 22-year-old musician, Yahaya Aminu Sharif, guilty of using derogatory expressions against the Prophet Muhammed in one of his songs and sentenced him to death by hanging.
Sharif had reportedly circulated the song on WhatsApp in March, prompting angry demonstrators to burn down his family house.
Media reports said that it wasn’t immediately clear how the lyrics violated the local blasphemy law and Sharif may appeal the verdict.
Speaking to AFP, the spokesperson for the Kano region justice ministry, Baba-Jibo Ibrahim, said that Sharif had legal representation during the trial that went on for four months.
The trial was reportedly held behind closed doors for security reasons.
Sharif is the second person to be handed a death sentence for blasphemy since several states in northern Nigeria reintroduced a stricter version of Sharia in early 2000s.
Many have also had their limbs amputated under the law.
Kano is one of the regions in the north where the Islamic law runs parallel to the state and federal justice system.
This comes weeks after a humanist, Mubarak Bala, was arrested by the police in Kano and issued death threats over a Facebook post said to be blasphemous against Prophet Muhammad, local media reported.
No Muslim has the moral right to react angrily to blasphemy; that doesn’t mean one cannot be angry.
Meanwhile, the sharia law on blasphemy cannot be done to a non Muslim. It is only applicable to Muslims who commits a ‘certain degree’ of blasphemy in a circular state.
— Bello Shagari (@Belshagy) August 11, 2020