An Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabara, was on Thursday sentenced to death by hanging by an Upper Shari’a Court sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano State for alleged blasphemy.
Kabara was arraigned on July 16, 2021 by Kano State Government on four counts charge bordering on blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
The presiding judge, Malam Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, in four hours judgment, said the prosecution had proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
“I, Sarki-Yola, sentence the defendant to death by hanging for making blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PUBH).
He also ordered the state government to seize all the 189 books the defendant tendered as exhibits and be taken to Kano State Library for the public.
He also ordered the state government to seize the defendant’s two Mosques he used in committing the offences.
He said “Jami’ul Asahable Kahfi, Filin Mushe and Jami’ul Rasul at Sabuwar Gandu should not be used”.
Sarki-Yola also ordered the general public, radio stations, TV stations to stop using the defendant’s preachings and pictures, especially in any social media, adding that anyone found would be prosecuted.
“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 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).
The Prosecution Counsel, Suraj Sa’eda, SAN, urged the court to sentence the defendant for finding him guilty.
He said that the defendant committed the offence on Aug. 10, Oct. 25 and Dec. 20, 2019 while conducting his preachings at his two Mosques .
“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 that the offence contravened section 382(b) and 375 of Kano State Shari’a Law 2000.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges, adding that he only translated the meaning of the hadith and was only protecting Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) based on the comment against him in the hadiths.
The defense counsel, Barr. Aminu Ado-Abubakar, holding brief for Dalhatu Shehu-Usman, 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.”
There was a mild drama in court as the defendant told the court that he had never seen the lawyer representing him.
The defendant said “this is my 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 card 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.
Justice Ibrahim Sarki -Yola said he is convinced with all the pieces of evidence tendered by prosecution counsels, declaring that they proved their point beyond a reasonable doubt.
He said: “I am convinced that the prosecution counsel has done their part and proven their points beyond a reasonable doubt.”
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the trial lasted for 15 months before the embattled cleric was convicted today (Thursday)