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Music industry heavyweights beg Ganduje to release Kano singer sentenced to death for blasphemy

The group calls on the state government to drop all charges against the convict.

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was sentenced to death in August [TheCable]

Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was on August 10, 2020 sentenced to death by hanging for blasphemy by an Upper Shari'a Court in Kano.

He was accused of making blasphemous and degrading audio remarks against Prophet Muhammad, an act considered to have been done with the intention to hurt the feelings of Muslim faithfuls.

Following the court's decision, Ganduje announced that he would happily sign the singer's death warrant on expiry of the 30-day appeal deadline.

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In a letter dated September 8, the Nigerian Music Industry Collective said the judgement infringed on Sharif-Aminu's rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of expression.

The group appealed to Ganduje to use the influence of his office to implement the rule of law that has been discarded in the singer's case.

The group said, "We, as leaders of the Nigerian music and entertainment industry, are absolutely against this attempt to gag free thinking and expression, and ask that justice is served by the overruling of this sentence and the dropping of all charges against him.

"We ask that you use your good offices to stop this act and release him from this unfair act."

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The statement was signed by Laolu Akins on behalf of music industry giants including legendary singer, Ebenezer Obey, and Chocolate City executives, Audu Maikori, Ibukun Abidoye, Paul Okeugo.

Other music industry actors named as part of the group include Obi Asika, Joel Ajayi, Tony Elueyitchie, Bukola Sawyerr Izeogu, Justin Ige, Funmi Dakum, Sikiru Agboola, Dare Fasasi, Edi Lawani, Efe Omorogbe, and Ikhane Akhigbe.

Sharif-Aminu's counsel, Kola Alapini, filed a suit at the Kano State High Court last week to dismiss the Sharia court's ruling as unconstitutional, and a gross violation of his client's human rights.

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