In an a recent media release, the newly elected president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata has addressed the concerns of the public with respect to the current situation of convicted musician.
Recall that an Upper Sharia Court sitting in Kano convicted Yahaya Aminu Sharif of blasphemy and sentenced him to death consequently as a result. The sentence which garnered both international and local attention has been a hot public debate with people wondering why blasphemy laws is allowed to exist in the country when it is totally against the wordings of the constitution of the land.
Among the aftermath of the sentence was a reported statement from the governor of the state citing that he is ready to sign the death sentence.
However, what was worrisome was the fact that the said convicted musician was denied access to legal representation both before and after the proceeding in the Upper Sharia Court. This is what the recent fact-finding mission sent by the Nigerian Bar Association discovered in their mission.
After a visit from top executives of the association to the Federal Correctional Facility holding Yahaya, the NBA Officials confirmed that he was in fact denied access to Lawyers during the trial. After the trial, the constitution allows individuals who didn’t like the verdict of a judgement to appeal. However, it seems like the Kano State Government are deliberately restricting his access to legal representation in hope that the period of appeal elapses (writers opinion).
After the visit, the NBA has said it will fight for Yahaya and make sure he has access to legal representation and the justice he deserves. We hope Yahaya is finally released and the rule of law respected.