An Upper Shari’a Court sitting in Kano, on Thursday, sentenced to death by hanging, renowned Islamic cleric, Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, for alleged blasphemy.
The presiding judge, Ibrahim Sarki Yola, delivered the conviction in a court session, which lasted over three hours, amid tight security.
The defendant was arraigned on July 16, 2021 by Kano State Government on a four count-charge bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The presiding judge, Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, said the prosecution had proven their case beyond reasonable doubt.
“I Sarki-Yola sentence the defendant to death by hanging for making blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PUBH),” the judge said. He ordered the state government to seize all the 189 books the defendant tendered as exhibits to be taken to Kano State Library for public use, relying on Section 331 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) Kano 2019.
“I hereby order the state government to seize the defendant’s two mosques used in committing the offences situated at Mushe and Sabuwar Gandu and should not to be used.”
Sarki-Yola also ordered the general public, radio stations, TV stations to stop using the defendant’s preaching and pictures especially, in any social media, adding that anyone found would be prosecuted relying on section 396(2) of Kano State ACJL 2019.
“The defendant did not follow the right path of preaching he fabricated all the meaning of the hadith and made a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad PBUH. I, therefore, find him guilty. The defendant has the right to appeal within 30 days,” he added.
He called on the general public and all Kano clerics to be careful with the words they used while preaching and translating, especially, concerning Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
Prosecution Counsel, Suraj Sa’eda urged the court to sentence the defendant after finding him guilty, saying, the defendant committed the offence on August 10, October 25 and December 20, 2019 while conducting his preaching at his two mosques.
Sa’eda stated, “The defendant made a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his marriage with Nana Safiyya in hadith 1,365, 1,428, 2,326 and 5,120 Sahih-Bukhari and Muslim and posted it on his Facebook page, Ashabul Kahfi.”
Sa’eda said the offence contravened Section 382 (b) and 375 of Kano State Sharia Law 2000.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The defence counsel, Aminu Ado-Abubakar, pleaded for leniency and urged the court to temper justice with mercy on behalf of the defendant.
“The defendant committed the offence based on how he understood the hadiths. My Lord it was a mistake,” the defendant told the court, noting that, he has never seen the lawyer representing him.
The defendant said this was his last statement, “After listening to how you my Lord twisted my evidence upside down and you said I made a blasphemous comment against Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
“I am not asking for leniency and I don’t want you the judge to temper justice with mercy on me, because I did not commit the offence and I want to tell all my followers that I will die as a hero; they should not worry.”
The prosecution counsel presented four witnesses and tendered memory cards as exhibits to prove their case against the defendant.
“The defendant defended himself, tendered 189 books as exhibit and a memory card of his preaching.”