Kano State government has described the ruling of the High Court of Appeal, Kaduna, for declaring Muslim cleric Abdul Nyass and five others not guilty of the offence of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad, as “extremely shocking and dissatisfying”
A Sharia court in Kano had sentenced the Muslim cleric and five of his followers to death for insulting Prophet Muhammad last year, while four were acquitted.
Nyass, who belongs to a Sufi order of Islam, gave a sermon in which he allegedly declared that a 20th Century cleric of his order, Sheikh Ibrahim Niasse, was greater than Prophet Mohammed. The sermon coincided with a birthday commemoration for Niasse, who died in 1975.
The response was the usual outraged mob, which rampaged through the district of Kano and burned down Abdul Nyass’ home. When nine of his followers were arrested and put on trial, another outraged mob materialized and set the sharia courtroom on fire. Subsequent “legal proceedings” were held in secrecy for security reasons
“The Sharia court found Abdul Nyass not guilty of blasphemy against the Prophet, which is punishable with death in accordance with the provisions of the Sharia legal system Kano state operates,” declared prosecutor Lamido Abba Soron-Dinki.
The press statement issued yesterday, May 24 by Malam Muhammad Garba
Hon. Commissioner of Information, Kano State:
“Kano State Government is extremely shocked and dissatisfied with the ruling of the High Court of Appeal, Kaduna, for declaring Abdul Nyass and five (5) others not guilty of the offence of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), in an appeal filed before it by counsels of the appellants.
The appellants were in last February found guilty for the offence of blasphemy against the person of Prophet Muhammed, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him, and sentenced to death by Upper Shari’ah Court, Rijiyar Remo, presided over by Khadi Atiku Muhammad Bello.
The State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has already instructed the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice to file an appeal against the ruling of the Appeal Court immediately.
The general public is therefore urged to be calm, patient and exercise restraint as the State Government has vowed to continue to pursue the case with unwavering commitment until the accused persons were brought to book according to the provision of Islam.”