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KANO—The Court of Appeal in Kano, yesterday, ordered a retrial of the death sentence handed to the singer accused of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad.

A Shari’a court in Kano sentenced Yahya Sharif Aminu to death on August 10, 2020, after he was found guilty of committing blasphemy in a song.

The ruling had stirred widespread criticism among Nigerians.

Despite the public outcry, the Supreme Council for Shari’a in Nigeria asked the Kano State government to execute the court judgment.

 Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano also said he would not waste a minute when signing Sharif-Aminu’s death sentence if he failed to file an appeal within 30 days.

But Sharif-Aminu had appealed the judgment in a suit filed through his counsel, Kola Alanipini. The musician also challenged the judgment before the state high court.

Although the high court dismissed the death sentence, it denied the musician bail and ordered his re-trial before another Shari’a court judge.

But the singer’s lawyers kicked against the ruling and also appealed the verdict of the high court.

Aminu’s lawyer argued that he ought to be released from detention and that his re-trial should not take place at another Shari’a court.

But during the court session held via Zoom, yesterday, the appeal court upheld the initial judgment of the Kano High Court, which ordered the retrial of the case in the Shari’a court.

Two of the three judges had backed the defendants while one objected.

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