NBA team denied access to Kano singer accused of blasphemy 

A two-man fact-finding committee set up by the National President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Olumide Akpata to visit Yahaya Sharif Aminu in Kano Correctional Centre was denied access to the convicted singer. 

The committee made up of the NBA 1st Vice President– Mr John Aikpokpo-Martins and the National Welfare Secretary– Mr Kunle Edun were in Kano on Wednesday but were not allowed to see the convict. 

The committee, it was gathered, was set up by the NBA National President in response to the demand by some concerned lawyers that he was denied access to lawyers during his trial.

This was contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Dr Rapuluchukwu Ernest Nduka and obtained by the Tribune Online on Thursday.

According to the statement, the committee was mandated to urgently embark on a fact-finding mission to the Federal Correctional Centre in Kano and report back to the NBA.

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The statement noted, “On the 2nd day of September 2020, the 1st Vice President and the National Welfare Secretary visited the said Correctional Centre and sought audience with the Controller of the Correctional Centre.

Recall that Aminu was recently sentenced to death by the Kano Upper Sharia Court having been convicted of blasphemy.

The Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje was reported to have agreed to sign the execution warrant if Yahaya Sharif-Aminu fails to appeal the death sentence within the statutory time allowed by law.

While at the centre, the NBA officials were told that the controller was not around except the second in command and the second in command told the visiting team he can not grant them an audience to see the convict.

“The NBA officials informed him that they were at the centre to verify the claims that some lawyers were not allowed to see the convicted singer. 

The Correctional second-in-command was said to have informed them that he does not have the authority to grant them access but would seek permission from his boss as the controller was not around during the visit.

The statement further added that the National Officers were able to confirm that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu has been denied access to any lawyer since his conviction. They were further informed that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu was not represented by a lawyer during the trial at the Upper Sharia Court.

The NBA team states that since the visit was a fact-finding mission, the NBA shall take further steps in ensuring that Yahaya Sharif-Aminu is given the requisite opportunity to exercise his constitutional right of appeal and his right to be represented by a lawyer of his choice.

It is imperative that Yahaya is granted access to a lawyer of his choice.

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