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Blasphemy: Amnesty Int’l slams government for denying Kano musician access to lawyer

Rights group, Amnesty International, has expressed concern over the Nigerian Government’s refusal to grant Yahaya Aminu-Sharif access to legal representation to appeal a death sentence passed on him by the Upper Shariah Court in Kano on August 10, 2020 over alleged blaspemy of Prophet Mohammed.

AI said the Abdullahi Umar Ganduje-led government in Kano apart from denying the young musician the right to legal representation is also denying him access to the certified true copy of the judgment.

Recall that Ganduje, who was once caught on tape taking bribe in dollars, promised to sign the death warrant for the musician once it lands on his desk, sparking national and international outrage and condemnation.

The rights group in a series of tweets on Wednesday said, “Amnesty International is deeply concerned about reports that Yahaya Aminu-Sharif has not been granted access to lawyers for the purpose of appealing the death sentence passed on him by the Upper Shariah Court in Kano State. He was sentenced on 10 August 2020.

“There are seven days left for Yahaya Sharif Aminu-Sharif to appeal the court judgment of his death sentence and court officials are allegedly denying him access to his lawyers. Prisoners have the right to legal representation.

“In an attempt to deny Yahaya Shariff-Aminu his right to appeal, the Upper Shari’ah Court in Kano has so far not provided lawyers a copy of the judgment. This is a gross violation of his rights.”

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