Attempts to appeal the death sentence given to a musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, was stalled again on Tuesday as officials of the Upper Sharia Court in Kano State refused to make available certified true copies of the judgment.
According to PUNCH, Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death on August 10, 2020, for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed, was given 30 days by the court to appeal the judgment, meaning that the time would lapse on Wednesday, September 9.
For the appeal to be accepted at the Court of Appeal, the convict is expected to personally sign the notice of the appeal while certified copies of the original judgment will be attached to it.
But investigation by the newspaper showed that Sharif-Aminu had been denied access to his lawyers while Sharia court officials had also failed to provide copies of the judgment.
Confirming the development, human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), said he had continued to make efforts to get the judgment.
He said there was a need for things to move quickly since Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, had said last week that he would sign the convict’s death warrant once the time for the appeal lapsed.
"They have not released the judgment and time is running out. And if we cannot obtain copies of the judgment, we cannot appeal. They have just been saying the judgment is not ready and the days are counting,” Falana said.
The musician, who is a resident of Sharifai in Kano metropolis, was accused of committing blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March 2020.
Irate youths burnt down his family home and led a protest to the Sharia Police, Hisbah, demanding Sharif-Aminu’s death.