State governors in Nigeria must approve death sentences before they can be carried out q q

An Islamic court in northern Nigeria has sentenced a 22-year-old musician to death by hanging after convicting him of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.

An upper Sharia court in Kano state ruled that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu committed blasphemy in a song he circulated via WhatsApp in March.

The singer, who is in detention, can appeal against the verdict.

Protesters demanded the singer’s arrest in March

Death sentences are rare in northern Nigeria. Sharia law is implemented alongside secular law in most states in the mainly Muslim north.

The musician had gone into hiding after he composed the song. Protesters had burnt down his family home and gathered outside the headquarters of the Islamic police, known as the Hisbah, demanding action against him.

His critics said the song was blasphemous, as it praised an imam to the extent it elevated him above Prophet Muhammad.