Nigerian Islamic court sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano state yesterday August 12, sentenced a 70-year-old man, Mati Audu, to death by stoning after he was found guilty of defiling a 12-year-old girl.
At the Upper Shari’a court’s trial, Mati who is a resident of Falsa of Tsanyawa local government, confessed to committing the crime and accepted his punishment of death by stoning.
The presiding judge, Abdullahi Sani Sarki Yola, said that Islamic teachings gave Audu the chance at three different court sittings to reverse his confession in order to save him from the punishment.
The suspect admitted and disclosed that he defiled the minor and was willing to accept his punishment of death by stoning.
A few days ago, a 22- year old man was equally sentenced to death by an Upper Sharia Court in the state for an act of blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed.
NIGERIA’S SHARIA COURT’S OPERATIONS
Twelve states in Nigeria’s Muslim-dominated north operate the Sharia system of justice, but only Muslims can be tried in its courts.
The Sharia system, which also has its own Court of Appeal, handles both civil and criminal matters involving Muslims and its judgements can also be challenged in Nigeria’s secular Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
The Sharia judges, known as alkalis, are learned in both Islamic and secular laws.
If a case involves a Muslim and a non-Muslim, the non-Muslim has the option of choosing where they want the case to be tried.
The Sharia court can only hear the case if the non-Muslim gives written consent.
Sentences handed down by the courts include floggings, amputations and the death penalty.