- Category: Law, Crime & Judiciary
- Published on Saturday, 08 October 2011 14:21
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No fewer than 50 lawyers have reportedly volunteered to free of charge defend the two young men in Zamfara State that are billed to have their wrists amputated.
A rights activist, Mr Anthony Agboh, told Saturday Tribune in Gusau that the lawyers were contacted by civil organisations in the state in connection with the case.
He said the rights groups believed their conviction was an error.
He stated that though the teenagers were convicted under the sharia law being practiced in the state, “we were told for a judge to pass this kind of judgment, certain criteria need to be made like where the convicts gainfully employed before committing the theft or what engineered them to steal the cow, or whether the owner carelessly leaves the cow without proper protection.”
Similarly, the Christians indigenous group has appealed to the state government to temper justice with mercy.
Speaking through its Public Relations Officer, Mallam Musa Tsafe, the group pleaded that the teenagers be forgiven.
Tsafe charged that the issue of robbery, theft, or any other social vices could be attributed to the failure of government at all levels to cater for their people.
He stressed that if the people had jobs and could afford to sponsor their kids to school and pay electricity bills, all the rampant cases of theft and robbery would be reduced to the bearest level.
Meanwhile, two persons sentenced to amputation by the Higher Shari’ah Court in Nasarawa Mailayi in Birnin Magaji local Government of Zamfara State have filed an appeal less than 48 hours to its execution.
A source told our correspondent that the convicts were seeking to overturn the verdict.
Findings, however, showed that all arrangements had been concluded for the execution of the ruling delivered by the Shari’ah Court judge, Justice Muhammadu Abubakar, in accordance with the provision of Shari’ah.
The state governor, Alhaji Abdul’Aziz Yari Abubakar, had during the 100-day in office celebration, vowed to allow the execution of the judgment if the convicts fail to appeal.
“They are going to be the third and fourth cases of amputation in the history of shari’ah in our state,” the governor said.
Additional information from Tribune
Nigeria's Zamfara Sharia court orders amputation (09.09.11)
An Islamic court in northern Nigeria's Zamfara state has sentenced two youths to amputation of their right hands for stealing a bull.
The court ruled that the wrists of Auwalu Abubaka, 23, and Lawalli Musa, 22, should be amputated in public.
Amputations under Islamic law are rare in Nigeria and the court said the men could appeal against their sentences.
Nigeria's government recognises aspects of Islamic law in its 12 mainly Muslim northern states.
Judge Muhammadu Abubakar, hearing the case in the village of Nassarawan Mailayi, said Abubaka and Musa had pleaded guilty to stealing the bull from a local resident. 'Market day amputation'
"Based on the admission of guilt by the two of you of trespassing into the house... and stealing a bull whose worth is well above the minimum value to warrant amputation, I hereby order that each of you should have his right wrist amputated," Judge Muhammadu Abubakar told the convicts.
The bull was valued at N130,000, reports say.
The sentence would take place on "market day [8 October] for members of the public to witness", Judge Abubakar said.
The judge, however, gave Abubaka and Musa the right to appeal against the sentence.
Zamfara was the first northern state to introduce Islamic law after Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.
In 2000, Buba Jangebe made history as the first Nigerian to have an amputation carried out after the re-introduction of Islamic law after being found guilty of stealing a cow.
There was widespread international condemnation of the amputation and only a few such sentences have been carried out.