Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Court sentences nine to death for blasphemy

26 June 2015, 16:36

Kano - Nine people have been sentenced to death in Kano after being found guilty of blasphemy, a court clerk and the head of the religious police told AFP on Friday.

The Upper Sharia Court in the city of Kano handed down death sentences to a Sufi Muslim cleric and eight of his followers for remarks they made about the Prophet Mohammed last month.

Also read: Kano premier appoints new government officials

The comments, made during a religious ceremony, sparked anger and violence in the city.

Court clerk Alhaji Nasuru said the nine, including one woman, were "sentenced to death in accordance with sections 110 and 302 of the Sharia penal code."

Four other followers of the cleric, Aminu Abdul Nyass, were acquitted, he added.

The defendants were arrested when violence broke out in the Makwarari district of Kano as they marked the birthday of the former leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi order, Ibrahim Nyass.

An angry crowd attacked the ceremony and later burnt down Abdul Nyass' home, police said at the time.

Abdul Nyass belongs to a separate branch of Tijaniyya, some of whose beliefs are considered heretical because of their different interpretation of some basic Islamic principles.

The head of the Kano state Sharia (Islamic law) police, known locally as the Hisbah, welcomed the verdicts.

"We are happy the Sharia court handed the death sentences to the nine people who made the blasphemous statements against the Holy Prophet," said Aminu Daurawa.

The trial was held in secret to avoid violence, after crowds set fire to a section of the Sharia court on the defendants' first appearance on May 22.

The judgment still has to be approved by Kano governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, added Daurawa, who warned the sentence should remind Muslims that blasphemy attracts the ultimate penalty.

He also said the risk of violence was high if the nine were released.

"The concern is mobs would take extrajudicial action if these convicts are for whatever reason released because they would certainly kill them when they see them on the streets," he said.

There was no immediate word on whether the nine would appeal.

Sharia courts in Kano have handed down death sentences for adultery, murder and homosexuality since they were set up in the early 2000s. But to date, no executions have been carried out.

Twelve states in the mainly Muslim north have the courts, which run parallel to state and federal justice system.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...