Time is ticking for Yahaya Aminu and Governor Ganduje is waiting patiently


A few weeks ago, a Kano Sharia Law Court sentenced a man, Yahaya Aminu Sharif, to death for speaking against Prophet Mohammed in one of his songs that went viral. The report divided Twittersphere into those who argue that Sharia Law enables extreme measures and the ones who agree with the dictates of the ‘holy and just’ laws.

While many people who oppose Sharia Laws were hopeful that the law is annulled in Yahaya’s favour, the state governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has told newsmen that he has approved the law which finds Yahaya guilty of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed. The law holds strong leverage against Yahaya if he does not appeal the case against him within 30 days.

According to the state governor, “…if after 30 days the convicted person does not appeal his case and there is no evidence that he has appealed the case, then the governor of Kano also would sign the execution order.”

The news of the Yahaya’s sentencing under the Sharia law created a debate on the constitutionality of extending Sharia into the purview of criminal justice; considering the nation has a constitution. It has been debated over the years that the enforcement of Sharia Law infringes on the rights and freedoms of Nigerians, especially the less privileged.

In 2018, Ganduje was caught on camera collecting kickbacks and till now, he’s yet to face consequences. For many Nigerians, the Sharia law is only a tool for influential Northerners to exert their powers on the ‘voiceless’, not a deliberate attempt to stop criminality in the region.

Gaduje’s decision in authenticating the law on the request of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria may have been political – to position him for potential voters in the future. But, we should remember that in the Nigerian constitution, there are rights granted for the freedom of expression and Yahaya Aminu is well in his rights to express himself wholly with his music. The trial and death sentence is anti-Nigerian law.

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