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Judicial CP - January 2002

Corpun file 8565 at

Independent Newspapers, South Africa, 2 January 2002

Trader 'flogged for a bottle of gin'

Kano, Nigeria - A Christian trader in Kano, Nigeria's most populous northern state, claimed on Tuesday he had been caned 80 times by an Islamic vigilante group because he was found with a bottle of gin. Obi Livinus, 50, showed journalists the weals that resulted from Monday's caning by Hizbah, a group which monitors the strict adherence to the Islamic code, called Sharia, in the province. Livinus said he was caned in front of his family by the vigilantes after they ransacked his home and found a bottle of gin he had bought to celebrate New Year. "Before my 16 children and two wives, they removed my clothes, held me face down and gave me 80 strokes of the cane," he said. "Look at the damage they did to my back," he added, pointing to deep lacerations.

Although Livinus said that he had formally reported the assault, Kano police spokesman Kabiru Shehu said he was not aware of it. Shehu said that "appropriate action" would be taken as soon as police received the report.

In December 1994 in Kano, a group of Muslim youths beheaded another Christian trader, Gideon Akaluka, whom they accused of blasphemy. Akaluka was brought out of the prison cell where he was being kept and beheaded, whereafter his severed head was paraded through the streets on a spike. - Sapa-AFP

© Independent Online 1999

Corpun file 8424 at, Cape Town, South Africa, 21 January 2002

Sharia judge flogged

Gusau - An Islamic sharia court judge in northern Nigeria was whipped 80 times for public drunkenness, an official said on Monday.

Sharia court judge Muhammadu Naila was punished on Friday after an Upper Sharia Court in northeast Zamfara state convicted him for drinking alcohol, an official at the state Ministry for Religious Affairs said.

"He took alcohol, which is against sharia. By virtue of the fact that he broke the law he was supposed to protect, he was punished," said the official who asked not to be named.

Naila was whipped by an Upper Sharia Court judge in front of a large cheering crowd, the official said.

Many have previously complained that only the poor have been subjected to the harsh punishment prescribed by sharia which include amputation for stealing and death by stoning for adultery.

Treated 'equally'

"We have gone to great lengths to show we treat people equally, he was treated as any individual would be," the official said.

The official said Naila had been suspended from his job and was likely to be removed from office.

"It's impossible for him to stay," the official said. "He will not be a judge again. He cannot be a judge again."

The Vanguard newspaper said Naila had been found drunk in an illegal bar early last week.

Zamfara was the first of more than a dozen states to adopt the strict Islamic code as official state law after military rule ended in 1999.

The introduction of the law has led to bloody Christian-Muslim clashes that have killed thousands in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north.

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