Kano Court Rejects Singer’s Blasphemy Appeal, Says Sharia Law Is Constitutional

Written by on August 19, 2022

A federal court in Kano has dismissed an appeal by a singer battling a religious ruling that he should be sentenced to death over blasphemy.

This is the first time that a federal court in Nigeria rules on whether or not Islamic sharia law is consistent with the secular country’s constitution.

Northern states in Nigeria have sharia courts that operate alongside common law.

The case goes back to August 2020 when a sharia court in Kano ordered singer Yahaya Aminu Sharif’s death by hanging for expressions considered derogatory against the Prophet Mohammed.

The singer appealed his conviction.

The singer was accused of insulting the prophet in a song he shared online, which caused riots in the city.

Mobs burnt his family home and took to the streets demanding prosecution, leading to his arrest.

Sharif belongs to a branch of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, whose beliefs are considered heretical by some because of their interpretation of some basic Islamic principles.

Sharif’s conviction is the second death sentence to be handed down for blasphemy since a stricter version of sharia law was introduced in the early 2000s.

A Kano sharia court sentenced Abdul Nyass, a Sufi Muslim cleric, to death in 2015 for making blasphemous statements against the prophet.

Sharif and Nyass belong to the same branch of the Tijaniyya Sufi order.

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