An upper Sharia court in Nigeria Northern state of Kano has sentenced a 22-year-old Islamic gospel musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu to death by hanging having been found guilty of committing blasphemy for a song he shared on WhatsApp in March.
Sharif-Aminu did not deny the charges as Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani ruled he should be hanged for blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.
States across predominantly Muslim-majority northern Nigeria use both secular law and Sharia law, which does not apply to non-Muslims.
Protesters had burnt down the family home of the musician who few people had heard of before his arrest in March demanding action against him.
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 judgement will serve as a deterrent to others who feel they could insult our religion or prophet and go scot-free,” he said.
Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said he could appeal against the verdict.
As it’s the case in 30 states in the United States of America where the death sentence is still in use, death sentences requires a sign-off by the state Governor before execution.