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Falana drags FG, Kano to African Commission over death sentence on singer

…As commission acknowledges petition

Human Rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana, has petitioned the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Banjul, Gambia, over the death sentence on Kano singer Sharif Yahya Sharif.

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Falana, in the petition dated September 8, 2020, sought from the Commission to exercise its mandates and authority under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and pursuant to the commission’s order 100(1) of the commission’s Rules of Procedure, 2020.

Recall that on August 10, 2020, the Upper Sharia Court sitting in Kano, Kano State convicted Sharif Yahaya Sharif of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed, PBUH, and sentenced him to death by hanging contrary.

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The petition, reads in part: “Our communication details multiple violations of his right to life and fair trial rights guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and resolutions on moratorium on executions adopted by both the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

“Despite their obligations under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other international treaties to which Nigeria is a state party, the Nigerian authorities continue to violate the fair trial and other rights of the petitioner. The request for a certified true copy of the judgment of the Court was also not granted on time.

“An appeal at the Kano State High Court against the conviction and death sentence imposed on the petitioner has been filed, but we submit that the petitioner will not enjoy a fair hearing, as he continues to face imminent execution by hanging,” Falana stated.


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