Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says he will sign the execution warrant of a 30-year-old man, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, sentenced to death by hanging by an Upper Shari’a Court in the state.
Aminu was sentenced to death by the Court after his conviction of blasphemous remarks against Prophet Muhammad, under Section 382 (b) of the Kano State Penal Code Law 2000.
Ganduje, who spoke at a special stakeholders forum on Thursday in Kano, said that he would not hesitate to sign the execution order at the expiration of the 30-day grace, if the convict failed to appeal the judgment.
“If the 30 days elapsed and the convict has not appealed, and there is no evidence that he has appealed, I will not waste time in signing the warrant for the execution of the man who blasphemed.
“Lawyers just told us that the case could go up to the Supreme Court. If that happens, I will wait for the final verdict,” he said.
In their separate remarks, some Islamic clerics supported the governor’s stance, describing it as the only possible measure to avert a recurrence.
They urged the governor to do the right thing and not be destracted by activities of human right organisations.
“Islam outlined clear punishment against any person that commits blasphemy. That is what must be followed,” he said.
Alhaji Aminu Gadanya, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Kano chapter, in his reaction, said that the association was in support of the judgement, “in view of the fact that the trial was based on the provisions of the law”.
Malam Muhammad Garba, Chairman, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), said that the association was equally in support of the governor’s position.
“The court convicted the man under Section 382 (b) of the Kano state Penal Code Law 2000; even the Supreme Court had upheld such penalties in the past,” he said.
On his part, Ahmad Magaji, Controller, Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS) in Kano State, confirmed that the convict was in custody, adding that no lawyer had so far indicated interest in appealing the judgement.
It was reported that the Court, on Aug. 10, convicted the man who was tried over alleged blasphemy, and sentenced him to death by hanging.
The meeting was attended by the Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Habu Ahmad, heads of security agencies, Islamic clerics and representatives of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).