Following the social unrest and outburst made across the various social media platforms and other human rights activists as well as organizations which has continued to fall on the deaf ears and the unflinching resolve of the Shari’ah law and its upholders to absolve the singer found of blasphemy, the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria has urged Kano State Government to execute the court judgement that found a singer guilty of blasphemy.
In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmad, on Tuesday in Kaduna, the Shari’ah Council stated that the execution of the judgement as a warning to others who are found of making unholy utterances which are against the provision of the Shari’ah law as practiced.
It berated those advocating pardon for the convict, and advised the Kano State Government not to be swayed by their plea.
“The calls by some so-called human rights groups to pardon the culprit should not deter the state government from doing the right thing.
“This case is purely an Islamic affair, in consonance with the religion, culture and wishes of not only the people of Kano, but the majority of the population of Nigeria that are Muslims.
“The Council further wishes to emphatically remind all Nigerians, especially the secular human rights groups that the judgement is in line with the Supreme Court judgement.”
The Secretary General, Nafi’u Baba-Ahmad cited the case of Abubakar Shalla Vs State (2007) 12 MJSC, page 52-53 paragraph G-B, where the Supreme Court ruled ‘that the position of the Law under Shari’ah is that any sane and adult Muslim who insults, defames, or utters words or acts which are capable of bringing into disrepute, odium, contempt of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him), such a person has committed a serious crime which is punishable by death.’
“We therefore call on all Muslims to be mindful of their utterances as the Prophet (SAW) said: Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say what is right or keep silent.”
A Kano Upper Shari’ah Court, on August 10, sentenced one Sharif Yahaya Sharifai to death-by-stoning for blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, as provided under Kano State Shari’ah Law.
While the Nigerian nation is a multi-ethnic nation as it houses various religious worldviews which gave birth to the need of a secular approach in the dealing of the government and its people in relation to another. It must also be noted that above all other laws and ordinances in the nation either religious laws or any other laws, the constitution of the nation Nigeria is supreme to any other law.
This has been the case and the plea of the various human right activist as well as bodies who have pleaded with the government to rescind the law made by the sharia court in Kaduna.
The outright refusal of the Sharia law to listen to the plea of the people due to its rigid structure calls for a need for a reflection on our constitutional structure. If one part of the nation Nigeria is strictly governed by the Sharia law and the other side is governed by the constitution, then there is a need for a drastic approach to correct this and bring about an even judicial system. However this is not a cause for people to disregard the religious beliefs of other people who hold a different faith which is different from ours.
By Marcus Amudipe