By Emmanuel Adeleke
An Appeal court sitting in Kano State, has ordered a retrial of a singer, Yahya Sharif-Aminu, accused of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
The court gave the order while ruling on the appeal filed by Sharif-Aminu, on Wednesday.
Recall that a Sharia court in Kano sentenced the singer to death on August 10, 2020, after he was found guilty of committing blasphemy in a song.
The ruling had elicited an outcry among Nigerians.
Despite the public outcry, the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria asked the Kano State Government to execute the court judgement.
Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, promised not to waste time in signing Sharif-Aminu’s death sentence if he fails to file an appeal within 30 days.
But Sharif-Aminu appealed the judgement in a suit filed by his counsel, Kola Alapinni.
The musician also challenged the judgement before the state high court.
Although the high court dismissed the death sentence, it denied the musician bail and ordered his retrial before another Sharia court judge.
But the singer’s lawyers kicked against the ruling and also appealed the verdict of the high court.
Sharif-Aminu’s lawyer argued that he ought to be released from detention, adding that his retrial should not take place at another Sharia court.
But delivering judgment via Zoom on Wednesday, the appeal court upheld the initial judgement of the Kano State High Court, which ordered the retrial of the case at the Sharia court.
In the three-judge verdict, Justice Lamido and B. M. Ugo gave majority judgement in favour of the respondent which upheld the High Court decision for retrial as against the dissenting judgement by the third judge.