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Judicial CP - April 2001

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PM News, Lagos, 23 April 2001

Women's Group Tackles Zamfara Governor

By Adewale Busari
In Ibadan

The last may not have been heard on the sentence passed on a kid mother in Zamfara State under the Sharia legal system for having pre-marital sex as well as lying against three men, accusing them of putting her in the family way, as a women group has already taken up her case.

The three men were released for want of evidence while Bariya Magazu was convicted and sentenced to 180 lashes of the cane which was executed shortly after her delivery.

A non-governmental organisation, BAOBAB, said after reviewing the case, it decided to appeal against the judgement to secure justice for the poor girl and others who might find themselves in her position.

In a paper presented at the Advocates Forum on "The Implication of Zamfara Penal Code on the Nigerian Legal System," Dr. Ayesha Imam, President of the group, said after a critical analysis, BAOBAB discovered a lot of irregularities in the way Bariya Magazu was convicted, thereby prompting the group to intervene on her behalf and set a precedent especially on the rights of women and girls under Muslim laws in Nigeria.

According to a paper presented by Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), research shows that the convict was only 13 years old, contrary to the claim of the Zamfara State government that she was 17 years old. The report further revealed that when it was discovered that she had been put in the family way, the three men she indicted were arrested and detained for three days in police custody before they were released.

Every effort made by BAOBAB to get the record of court proceedings as well as appeal to Governor Ahmed Sani to extend clemency to the little mother proved abortive.

In its research on the provisions of the Sharia legal system, the BAOBAB group said it discovered that Bariya should not have been found guilty of any offence under the Sharia system as Section 38 (C) of the Sharia law nullified the conviction.

To this end, seven lawyers, according to the group, have been mandated to appeal the conviction since sufficient grounds have been established for her appeal. The group argued that at that tender age, it is impossible for the convict to consent to sexual intercourse. It suggested that a case of rape is not unlikely in her case.

The group stated further that the presiding judge should have tempered justice with mercy by offering lesser punishment to the convict. BAOBAB argued that the convict could have been confined to a reformatory home or given 20 strokes of cane, fine or both.

Other grounds of appeal, according to BAOBAB, was that the conviction was not carried out according to the dictates of the Holy Quran which prescribed discharge for the accused person if it can be proved that the controversial pregnancy was as a result of rape.

The group claimed that the punishment was carried out before the baby's weaning periods contrary to the state government's promise.

Zamfara State governor was condemned for not doing anything to better the lot of women as he would want the world to believe.

Copyright © 2001 P.M. News.

Corpun file 8200 at


This Day, Lagos, 26 April 2001

Stiffer Punishment for Sharia Breakers

By Jare Ilelaboye
In Katsina

Sharia courts in Katsina State are now poised to impose punishment on any musician in the state that contravenes the law banning playing any form of music at any ceremony in the state.

For instance, at Funtua sharia court in the state, two musicians who were arraigned before the court were given 10 strokes of the cane each for singing at a wedding ceremony in Funtua.

The judge, Alhaji Dahiru Danyaya, said after finding the musicians guilty of contravening sharia code in the state, said he would not relent his effort in jailing those brought before him for contravening sharia law in the area.

The punishment, he said, would serve as a deterrent to others who might want to break the law in the area.

The punishment of 10 strokes of cane on the two musicians, whose names were given as Gambo Maibishi and Dauda Marki, was administered on them in the premises of the court in the area.

Meanwhile, a popular Katsina based musician, Mallam Sirajo Ah Ashanlenle has entered into a sort of agreement with sharia court judge, Mallam Mustapha Darma, trying him for contravening sharia law that he would not do so again and apologised to the court for being rude when he was first arraigned on charges of playing music at a wedding ceremony in the metropolis.

Sirajo was remanded in prison custody for days before the court decided to pardon him for breaking of sharia law concerning banning of playing any form of music in the state.

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