The same judge who sentenced the Kano musician to death, Yahaya Sharif-Aminu for blasphemy, has since sentenced a 13-year-old identified as Umar Farouq to 10-year imprisonment after being found guilty of using “disparaging language on Allah” during a disagreement with his friend in Kano.
However, UNICEF representative in Nigeria, Peter Hawkins stated that the judgement contradicts the United Nations convention on the rights of the child which Nigeria ratified in 1991. He also called on the Kano state government to urgently reverse the sentencing.
“The sentencing of this child –13-year-old Omar Farouk to 10 years in prison with menial labour is wrong.
“It also negates all core underlying principles of child rights and child justice that Nigeria and by implication, Kano State – has signed on to.
“The sentence is in contravention of the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child, which Nigeria ratified in 1991. It is also a violation of the African charter on the rights and welfare of the child – which Nigeria ratified in 2001, and Nigeria’s Child Rights Act 2003, which domesticates Nigeria’s international obligations to protect children’s right to life, survival, and development.”