3 Nigerians sentenced to death by Sharia Law in Nigeria

Yesterday, Daily Times reported that a court in Kano State had sentenced a musician to death by hanging for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.

The 22-year-old Yahaya Sharif was sentenced in line with Section 382 (b) of Kano penal code of 2000.

Sharia Law, a brainchild of the Nigerian Legal System, was first enshrined by the extremist legal conventions of Zamfara State in 2000, and quickly gained currency among the other Northern States which harboured zero tolerance for flouting of religious norms. With the recent resurgence of a law which drew international condemnation during its nascent days, Daily Times takes a look at Nigerians who have been brutally tagged by the highly controversial Sharia Law.

1. Safiya Hussaini
Safiya Hussaini is the first woman to be caught in the crosshairs of what many describe as a Draconian Law. In October 2001, Sadiya was given the death sentence for allegedly engaging in a romantic relationship with a married neighbour. She had the child after her divorce. Hussaini claimed that she was the victim of repeated rape by a man, whom the Sharia court found not guilty due to lack of evidence. Sadiya ultimately had her case overturned on March 25, 2002, after a series of appeals.

2. Amina Lawal
Amina Lawal Kurani, an indigene of Funtua, Katsina State, was sentenced to death by stoning by a Sharia Court in Katsina State for conceiving a child out of wedlock. Again, the court could not hold her acclaimed lover liable due to a lack of incontrovertible evidence. Lawal’s conviction sparked an international controversy. It was overturned by a Sharia Court of Appeals which ruled that it violated Islamic law, and she later remarried.

3. Sani Yakubu
21-year-old Sani Yakubu Rodi was not as lucky as the pre-mentioned defendants during the maiden days of Sharia Law in Nigeria, ostensibly due to the gravity of his crime. He was hanged in Kaduna Prison on January 3, 2002. A Sharia court in Katsina found him guilty of the murder of a woman and her two children: a four-year-old boy and a three-month-old girl. The victims were stabbed to death in their home. Sani Yakubu Rodi was reportedly caught at the scene of the murder and immediately arrested by the police. Sani became the first man in Nigeria to go under the sword of the latent law, as it were. His execution, however, drew widespread condemnation from the international community.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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