A pro-democracy and human rights group, Concerned Nigerians, has condemned the death sentence of a Kano-based musician, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, over alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
The group in a statement by its spokesperson, Theophilus Abu Agada, said the death by hanging of Yahaya Sharif Aminu for blaspheming against Prophet Muhammed was repulsive to natural justice, equity and good conscience.
It added that the judgement was a gross violation of his rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and expression
“We condemn in strong terms the death sentence by hanging to a Kano-based artiste, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, for blaspheming against the Prophet Muhammad.
“The injustice faced by non-religious and even religious people in some parts of Nigeria is unbecoming,” the statement reads.
It stated further that every Nigerian, irrespective of their belief, should enjoy the freedom to practice whatever they believe without being arrested, detained and sentenced to death.
“It is hypocritical on the part of religious and political class to always hound vulnerable Nigerians on trivial matters while they commit the most heinous crimes against God and humanity,” it said.
The group argued that the existence of death penalty for blasphemy was a violation of the rights to freedom of thought and expression, pointing out how the injustices faced by both religious and non-religious people alike must stop.
“The arrest and detention of Yahaya is a breach of section 38 of our constitution which states that every person shall be entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom,” the group added.
It urged the Nigerian Government, Kano and other states in Northern Nigeria to take into cognizance, section 10 of our constitution which states that “Government of the federation or of a state shall not adopt any religion as state religion”.