European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja
THE Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, also l has called on the United Nations, the European Union and other international rights organisations to prevail upon Nigeria to review the death sentence on a Kano-based Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasuru Kabara.
Judge Ibrahim Sarki Yola of Kano Upper Shariah court had sentenced Kabara to death by hanging for alleged blasphemy against the Prophet.
However, the Shi’ites in a petition, lamented ehatvit described as the “persecution” of the Sheikh, by the Kano state government, saying the charges against him were a frame up.
It expressed concern that if not checked, a situation where the government celebrated the Sheikh’s conviction would ultimately “put the freedom of expression under siege.”
The letter, signed by Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, Halima Aliyu, read: “We write to draw your attention to a questionable court judgement sentencing Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasuru Kabara, Kano to death by hanging; and to seek the intervention of all people of conscience for the unconditional release of the cleric.
“Sheikh Abduljabbar is a prominent cleric and son of Sheikh Nasuru Kabara Kano. The family of Sheikh Nasuru Kabara is a highly respected family not only in Nigeria and Africa, but across the globe. Recently, people who are active in listening to speeches of some self-proclaimed Muslim scholars in Kano State and other parts of Northern Nigeria have witnessed how grudges developed between Sheikh Abduljabbar and the scholars as a result of research being conducted by the Sheikh.
“Sheikh Abduljabbar is well known for conducting research on Islamic history and the authenticity of traditions reported on the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA). He is known for the presentation of his research findings through lectures and book publications. Prominent books authored by the cleric include Muqaddimatu Azifa and Jawful Fara.
“Moreover, audio and video clips available in the public domain prove that the aforementioned scholars who share different views with Sheikh Abduljabar ganged up against him inorder to stop him from propagating his knowledge.
“Likewise, the inaction and views of Sheikh Abduljabbar on the Gandollar video published by the Daily Nigeria newspaper also contributed to creating political issues between the cleric and the present governor of Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
“People of Kano who are active on social media have witnessed a video clip where Abdullahi Umar Ganduje promises to persecute the Sheikh, and also there is another video where Ganduje is celebrating the arrest of the Sheikh.
“Obviously, it is the group of the aforementioned scholars that worked together with the Ganduje APC-led administration in Kano to frame-up baseless allegations against the cleric and the Kano State Government used the allegations to frame up blasphemy charges against him.
“It is pertinent to state that the lectures of Sheikh Abduljabbar which are in the public domain and the books he authored were centred on reverence, adoration and love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA).
“Sheikh Abduljabbar is known by the public for propagating love of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), but funny enough, Judge Ibrahim Sarki Yola convicted the Sheikh for blasphemy against the Prophet.
“We believe that the allegations and charges filed against Sheikh Abduljabbar are baseless and the court ruling delivered against him is politically motivated.
“We petition numerous organizations, including the National Human Rights Commission, the European Union, the United Nations, the Legal Aid Council, Amnesty International, Human Rights Monitor, and so on.
“Therefore, we are calling the NHRC, EU, UN, LAC, AI, & HRM, and other Human Rights’ NGOs to work towards promoting and protecting fundamental rights of Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasuru Kabara.
“We are also calling for a timely action in filing an appeal against the ruling delivered by Judge Ibrahim Sarki Yola of Kano Upper Shariah court. Definitely, review of the judgement by the relevant High Court will expose the plot planned against the cleric.
“We are always ready to work with anybody and everybody in promoting and protecting the rights of any oppressed person or community across the globe.”