Some legal practitioners in Kano State have supported the recent death penalty for alleged blasphemy and rape insisting that the provision is embedded in the Sharia Islamic practiced in the Northern part of Nigeria. A Kano based lawyer said Section 38, and Sections 4 and 6 of the Constitution give legitimacy to the establishment of Sharia courts.
It would be recalled that the Sharia Islamic Legal System was reintroduced in Kano in 2000 pursuant to section 4 of the 1999 Penal Code operational in Northern Nigeria and promulgated in 1960.
The Upper Sharia Court in Kano had earlier imposed death penalty on one Yahya Sharif for alleged blasphemy as well as passed a similar death sentence on one Mati Audi who is to die by stoning for alleged rape.
The Kano based legal practitioners approved of the judgment saying the judgements were perfectly in line with the Sharia legal system.
Specifically, they referenced Section 382 of the Sharia Legal Code provides for death sentence as punishment against blasphemy. Whereas Section 392 of the Penal Code however provides for 2 year imprisonment for the same offense.
Umar Danbaito Esq disclosed that while the Magistrate and High Courts deal with penal code, the Sharia Legal Code is applied in the Sharia courts.
However, there has been no public execution of death sentences in Kano State since the reintroduction of Sharia legal system as the provision requires the approval of the State Governor.