A 22 years old Northern Nigerian Singer, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu has been sentenced to death by Sharia Law for commiting blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed, through a song he circulated by WhatsApp in the month of March 2020.
The singer did not deny the charge against him however, Judge Khadi Aliyu Muhammad Kani said he could appeal against the verdict.
In Nigeria’s Sharia Courts, only one of the death sentences has been carried out since they were reintroduced in 1999.
The singer who is currently in detention, had gone into hiding after he composed the song.
According to report, protesters had burnt down Sharif-Aminu’s family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police (called Hisbah), demanding action against him.
The reason for the rage is because the singer praised an imam from the Tijaniya Muslim brotherhood, elevating him above the Prophet Muhammad. Apparently, this poses as an insult and disrespect to the religion and for Prophet Mohammed respectively.
According to BBC, the leader of the protesters that called for the musician’s arrest in March, Idris Ibrahim, said 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 will serve as a deterrent to others who feel they could insult our religion or prophet and go scot-free,” he said.
Sadly, not much is known about Mr. sharif-Aminu in Northern Nigeria because he is not popular outside his Tjjaniya Sect, who have many of his kind in their rank in terms of music.
BBC also mentioned a similar case of one Mr. Abdulazeez Inyass, who was sentenced to death for blaspheming against Islam during a secret trial in Kano in the year 2016.
The allegation against him was that he esteemed Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, the Senegalese founder of the Tijaniya sect higher that Prophet Muhammad. He said that Niasse has a large following across West Africa which “was bigger than Prophet Muhammad”.
The sentence has not been carried out as a death penalty in Nigeria requires the sign-off of the state governor. And so, Mr. Inyass still in detention till date.