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Sunday, 20 September 2020

Nigeria: 13 Years Old Boy Sentenced To 10 Years Imprisonment For Blasphemy

Nigeria: 13 Years Old Boy Sentenced To 10 Years Imprisonment For Blasphemy


According to Nelson Mandela, "The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats it's children." Just as it is said that one does not have what he/she did not have. And from their fruit they shall be known". 

This is to tell how devilish the Nigerian government is to it's citizens. Every day, the kleptomaniac government continues to bury the poor and the forthright deeper and deeper in the pit of wretchedness and powerlessness. What more? They rub in-salt on our ulcerous souls with their vexing sirens that announce not only their presence but also our demise, should our ragged bodies come anywhere near their dashing fleet of exotic cars. 

When I hear the sound of their sirens and knowing that in sane places, siren is actually used by the ambulance conveying the dead and the dying or the police in hot chase of consummate criminals, I cannot but grin as these political vampires unwittingly broadcast their sorry stage. Array of “Dead men on the prowl, criminals on the move; give way!” Kano State, like most preponderantly Muslim states in Northern Nigeria, practices both Secular and Sharia laws.

Omar Farouq has become the victim of Nigerian lawlessness, he was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in Sharia law court in Kano State in Northern part of Nigeria when he was accused of foul language towards Allah in an argument with a fellow child. You will also recall that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu, a studio assistant was sentenced to death by the same court on 10th August 2020, in the same Kano State for blaspheming Prophet Mohmmad.

According to Kola Alapinni’s counsel; the penalization of Farouq is in violation of African Charter of the Rights and Welfare of a Child and the Nigerian constitution. World Health Organization told CNN they have filed an appeal on his behalf on 7th September 2020. Alapinni said he or other different lawyers handling the case have not been granted access to Farouq by authorities in Kano State. He acknowledged regarding Farouq's case unintentional once performing on the case of Sharif-Aminu who sentenced to death for blasphemy at the Kano Sharia law Court.

He said he found out about Farouq's case by chance when working on the case of Sharif-Aminu, who was sentenced to death for blasphemy at the Kano Upper Sharia Court. "We found out they were convicted on the same day by the same judge, in the same court, for blasphemy and we found out that no one was talking about Omar, so we had to move quickly to file an appeal for him," he said. "Blasphemy is not recognized by Nigerian law. It is inconsistent with the constitution of Nigeria." The lawyer said Farouq's mother had fled to a neighboring town after mobs descended on their home following his arrest. 

"Everyone here is scared to speak and living under fear of reprisal attacks," he further revealed.

UNICEF had on Wednesday, issued a statement "expressing deep concern" about the sentence. "The sentencing of this child -- 13-year-old Omar Farouk -- to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong," said Peter Hawkins, UNICEF representative in Nigeria. "It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria and by implication, Kano State are signatories respectively".

CNN contact to the Kano State governor for comment however had not made any detection before publication. UNICEF has akes the Nigerian government and also the Kano authorities to desperately review the case and reverse the sentence, the organization said in a statement. "This case has gone much below the lines of the imperative, which has to be compelled to accelerate the enactment of the Kano State kid Protection Bill thus, ensuring that all kids under 18 years, as well as Omar Farouq are protected. All kids in Kano State are treated in accordance according to rights standards," Hawkins said.

Written by Obulose Chidiebere

Edited by Elemeghideonye Nnamdi Stephen

For Family Writers Press International

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